Re: Why do people get upset at Apple for this?
DJO, you're wrong - they do pay what is due. They break no laws and they have a legal obligation to their shareholders to minimise their costs (within the law). NOBODY pays more tax than they have to.
I'm as angry as anybody else is about the low rates and financial gymnastics these companies manage to get away with, but the bottom line is that it is the line of responsibility goes like this
LAW > GOVERNMENT > (AS A DEMOCRACY) - YOU AND ME!
There are reasons that the tax rules are the way they are, and it's partly because the tax laws had good intentions. The idea was to stop double taxation, but then those clever accounts found legal ways of making that "no or low taxation" and the authorities did nothing about it, because basically every country has large companies taking advantage of it, and they are competing against other large companies in other countries, who are also taking advantage of it. If we changed our laws unilaterally then all we would achieve is ultimately putting companies like Vodafone and Rolls Royce out of business.
The laws need to be changed globally and I think thats what you are going to finally see happen in the next few years.