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back to article Apple faces €1bn tax probe in Italy, claim legal eagle insiders

Apple will be investigated in Italy for allegedly owing almost £1bn to the Euro nation's taxman, it was claimed last night. News agency Reuters quoted a unnamed judicial source who said the "checks on the size of the tax are under way". Since the news broke last night, the fruity firm's spokeswoman Kristin Huguet has told Sky …

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Anonymous Coward

Wow....just....Wow

Sometimes I read comments here and have to check my calendar to make sure I haven't slipped through a crack in space time and ended up in the 1930s.

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New broom and all that?

Now that Sylvio B is out of the picture?

"Hey lets go after Apple. They have lots of money"

"Why?"

"We are broke. If we dont we will have to borrow more from Germany."

"Ok then."

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Anonymous Coward

Re: New broom and all that?

Probably less embarrassing than that Windows Phone just pushed Apple into 3rd place in Italy...

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Re: New broom and all that? When in Rome...

""We are broke. If we dont we will have to borrow more from Germany.""

Actually, this is a fine example of a US firm operating in a manner that is fully compliant with local culture and practice. According to the Economist, there was an estimated €285 billion of evaded taxes outstanding in Italy last year, amounting to 18% of GDP.

The Italian government is now trying to crack down on the whole tax dodging culture, and you might suspect that Apple are no more or less in the spotlight than any other profitable customer. However, raking in the taxes from local tax dodgers won't really help the Italian economy, since it takes the money off of people who would otherwise spend or save it, and in net terms it reduces Italian consumption and investment by an equal amount that it fills in a tiny fraction of the government's debt pit (a pit that is €2 trillion deep, and currently deepening by around €100bn a year). And that's perhaps the interest in Apple. Their tax avoidance doesn't result in more money in the real economy, it just flows into offshore accounts, to wait until the US government grant an amnesty on corporate cash repatriation (or to be frittered on non-US M&A).

Before the jokes start, British readers should note that our economy has very similar debt ratios and problems as Italy (huge public & private debt, tax avoidance & evasion, poor productivity, bloated public sector, red tape, corruption, and government policies (like energy) that are fresh from the mad house). One area of difference is that the Italian economy records a trade surplus (selling more than they buy internationally) to the average tune of around €30bn a year. The UK on the other hand remains mired in a trade deficit of £30n a year.

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Unhappy

Re: New broom and all that? When in Rome...

"Before the jokes start, British readers should note that our economy has very similar debt ratios and problems as Italy (huge public & private debt, tax avoidance & evasion, poor productivity, bloated public sector, red tape, corruption, and government policies (like energy) that are fresh from the mad house). One area of difference is that the Italian economy records a trade surplus (selling more than they buy internationally) to the average tune of around €30bn a year. The UK on the other hand remains mired in a trade deficit of £30n a year."

I'd like to also point out that the UK is #2 (behind Italy) in the length of time it takes to get payment out of business customers.

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Re Steve Davies 3

There's many a true word spoken in jest.

Have you noticed the size of the fines the US has imposed on furrin companies like BP and Barclays?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Re Steve Davies 3

>furrin companies like BP

....it's a US company - after merger they kept the British HQ and brand name - ditching Amoco as it was synonymous with 'Cadiz'. The Amoco bit is most of it.......quite a cunning plan as it turned out - very few stateside realise the same company was responsible for both disasters....

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Sigh

The Italians are claiming that the profits in Ireland should be taxed in Italy.

They can claim this all they want. For EU law states that those profits should be taxed in Ireland at whatever rate Ireland decides to tax them.

It's simply nothing at all to do with the Italian tax system.

Mebbe it shouldn't be this way but it is.

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LDS
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Re: Sigh

No, not the profits made in Ireland. The profits made selling goods in Italy through an Italian company. They are investigating if the "exchange" of profits for losses (Apple managed to have a credit with Italian tax office) is legal. Apple Italia is not an Irish company...

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WTF?

What is the rate?

Apple will be investigated in Italy for allegedly owing almost £1bn to the Euro nation's taxman, it was claimed last night............ It's claimed Apple is accused of understating its Italian revenue to the tune of about €1bn, which works out to £840m or $1.35bn. According to anonymous legal system insiders, Milanese prosecutors will claim Apple failed to declare €206m in 2010 and €853m in 2011.

I don't understand - The way El Reg has reported this, it implies that the Italian rate of tax is ~100% of revenue.

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Trollface

"Apple pays every dollar and euro it owes in taxes and we are continuously audited by governments around the world,"

HAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHHHHAAHHAAHAH. That is all. OK forgot 'Italy, taxes?' lololool OK I'm done.

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Wait ...

It makes perfect sense if you pay off corrupt US officials in Euros and corrupt Italian officials in Dollars.

Poor Apple, so misunderstood.

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Anonymous Coward

We pay our lawyers millions so screw you suckers!

Yes indeed, they got those Italian suckers too.

Morality is an old world word now.

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Well they don't pay their CFO $60m for nothing.

After all their profits are nowhere, which is also who they pay their income tax to

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