Despite the noise being made about big multinationals using loopholes to avoid paying tax, Apple’s Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri has made it clear how much he thinks Apple owes as part of the European Union’s ongoing investigation.
“My estimate is zero,” he told the Financial Times. “I mean, if there is a fair outcome of the investigation, it should be zero.”
Don’t spend it all at once, E.U.!
Prior to giving his rock-bottom prediction, Maestri said that, “This is a case between the European Commission and Ireland and frankly there is no way to estimate the impact right now, we need to see what the final decision is going to be.”
Luca Maestri isn’t the only Apple exec to have made his views about accusations of tax avoidance perfectly clear. During the recent “Inside Apple” episode of 60 Minutes, Tim Cook labelled reports that Apple doesn’t pay its taxes as, “total political crap” and said that the company, “pays every tax dollar we owe.”
Apple recently got the support of a somewhat unlikely champion in the form of London mayor Boris Johnson. Writing in the Telegraph newspaper, Johnson argued that it is tax laws which are at fault and said that: “It is absurd to blame [Apple] for ‘not paying their taxes’. You might as well blame a shark for eating seals … It is the fiduciary duty of their finance directors to minimise tax exposure. They have a legal obligation to their shareholders.”
Although we were initially been promised a Christmas deadline for the E.U. investigation of Apple, it now appears that both Apple and Ireland will have to wait until February for a verdict from regulators on whether or not Ireland has broken international tax rules by letting Apple shelter profits worth tens of billions of dollars there.
While Apple has always insisted that it is doing nothing wrong with its tax arrangements, the company recently agreed to pay €318 million ($347 million) to settle a similar tax investigation in Italy.
Source: Financial Times