Why Apple is wrong, even if innocent
I fully support the EU Commission’s decision about Apple, even if, in the end, Apple or the Irish officials will win the appeal.
There is a tremendous good and positive social message sent by the EU Commission, on making the Irish government take back from Apple the tax it itself helped to eschew.
It is absolutely abnormal and sleazy to tell your people that one company should be treated differently in regard to tax, because we want that company to be here and not there. This is demagogy first class, and the letter Tim Cook “authored” and posted is incredibly tone deaf and a true insult for the citizens of the European Union.
Nobody contests the fact that Apple pays all taxes it owes.
Nobody wants to hear sobby stories about Steve Jobs and the story of the great opportunity that Apple was for Ireland.
Dear Tim, we all know in 2016 how these deals are made. It is not like those officials who pampered your accounting worked for the people of Ireland, or if they actually did, well they did a poor job, it cost Ireland 13 billion. But there is a slight possibility that there were other gains I am sure, political gains, speech material about foreign investments, hi tech sector development, high paying jobs and, my favorite hoax in the election season, job creation.
The only real place job creation happens is in China, Tim. In Europe these jobs existed before Apple did us the grand favor of opening a sales office.
It is OK. Maybe you will win the appeal. But Tim, you keep the cash hidden in overseas accounts even from the american taxpayers, Tim. You keep the treasures away and, sure, all while respecting the law.
But, respect the law the Irish folks did not! Maybe you did respect the laws made especially for you, but that don’t make the game fair, Tim. Neither does hoarding billions to save tax, while the home of your business is having employees unable to pay rent. All that tax you “optimize” “legally” is a moral debt, one which you know you have, both to the US and to the EU.
The only problem addressed by the EU Commission, who somehow still faces successfully the lobby assault and veiled blackmail from the El Dorado business style of many American companies, is that the business of Apple in Europe was treated preferentially and Ireland was not in a position where it was able to create that preference. Sorry, these are the rules.
I am deeply amazed about the folks who side with a giant faceless corporation. I find it mind blowing that some people actually think it is bad to collect the tax that was spared on no solid grounds.
Everyone, listen up: accounting is the science of common sense.
There is no specific accounting law, only general prescriptions so that society can make sense of the books. They look like specific things, but they are all based on the high goal of forcing business to reflect reality in tables! So, if you lack common sense and send billions in profits to a shell company, a company that provides no service, does no work, pays no employees, and no tax, you then will pay the bill of your lack of common sense. Just like in society, when you’re caught lying you pay up, no matter who your friends are.
Unless, you will use your power to silence everyone who caught you.
Sure, Apple has the right and the reason to do it. I personally would not let go of 13 billion plus interest, just because a lady in the EU Commission said so. Maybe there are legal nuances, and obscure accounting practices, and possibly even the sheer fact that it is the Irish officials who made the deal, all to favor Apple’s appeal.
However this is not at stake. Apple should have kept its PR tamed in this phase of affairs. In this phase Apple is one of the many companies that uses people to find ways to game the system to steal money that should go back to the society that supports the business, all solely used to sell more stuff to the same society.
Apple is not an organization that will change the world for the better, except maybe marginally. There is no sanctity in selling hardware or cloud services. Apple is an in your face communicator that told the EU what Steve Jobs told unsatisfied iPhone buyers: don’t hold the phone that way, and in this case, don’t use the law that way. Well, Tim, I guess the EU Commission is somehow more ambitious than the fanboys like me who actually started changing how they held the phone.
Listen, I really hope the 13 billion will find their way to the governments of Europe, who rightfully should have collected them. I doubt they will reach their normal destination any time soon though. I know that maybe the whole case is broken and, in all truth, retroactive collection of money or retroactive fiscal policy is a bad idea. Yet, seriously, I and actually you too know that right now multinational corporation accounting works hard for this:
That is what this means:
Apple follows the law and we pay all the taxes we owe.