Apple will join multinationals Google, McDonald’s and IKEA in defending its European tax deals against E.U. lawmakers this Wednesday.
The hearing concerns whether or not giants like Apple are receiving illegally favorable tax deals, which give them an unfair advantage over local businesses.
The committee is made up of the European Parliament’s tax committee. While it doesn’t have the power to order changes as a result of tomorrow’s hearing, the fact that it is taking place represents the next next step in a long-running investigation into Apple’s tax practices.
It is also a voluntary hearing, as evidenced by the fact that Starbucks and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles both turned down the invitation to attend.
Apple has always been insistent that it pays ever last cent (or, well, euro) of tax it is required to by law. During last year’s “Inside Apple” episode of 60 Minutes, Tim Cook labelled reports that Apple doesn’t pay its taxes as, “total political crap.” Apple’s Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri has also said that, “if there is a fair outcome of the [European Commission] investigation, [Apple should pay] zero” extra tax.
My own take on this has always been that it is unfair if giant corporations have an unfair advantage over smaller companies. Even with the extra jobs they bring, it’s ridiculous that multinationals are able to get away with paying minimal tax. However, Apple is legally obliged to make as much money as possible for its shareholders. If there is a problem, it needs to be solved by reforming international tax laws to get rid of loopholes, created in a (now irrelevant) previous age.
London Mayor Boris Johnson has penned one of the best pieces I’ve personally read about the ongoing tax saga — essentially pinning the blame on the European Commission and its politically-motivated attack on Apple.
What do you think about this ongoing issue? Leave your comments below.