tax

European Union seeks to overturn Apple’s $14.8 billion tax verdict

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Apple's battle with the European Union rages on.
Photo: New York Public Library/Unsplash CC

The European Union wants to overturn Apple’s 2020 victory in the massive $14.8 billion tax dispute, which has been raging for the past several years.

Bloomberg reported Monday that the appeal challenges a July court judgment ruling against Apple. The court decision going against the EU was a big setback for lead Commissioner Margrethe Vestager.

US unhappy about international tax laws that go after companies like Apple

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International governments plan to rethink tax rules for the ‘digital age’
Apple's tax practices have raised the ire of some countries around the world.
Photo: Pixabay/Pexels CC

The U.S. Trade Representative’s office is not happy about certain international digital tax laws, which it claims is unfair to American tech giants.

According to Reuters, taxes on digital services imposed by France, India, Italy and Turkey are “inconsistent” with international tax principles. They could, in turn, result in retaliatory tariffs being put in place by the United States.

European Commission may have lost Apple tax case, but it believes it’s morally in the right

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The tax battle with Apple looks set to rage on.
Photo: New York Public Library/Unsplash CC

The European Commission may have lost its court case about Apple’s $14.8 billion tax bill, but it continues to believe that it’s morally in the right.

“We do not consider it normal that the largest corporates get away with paying one percent tax at most,” European Commission executive vice-president Valdis Dombrovskis told reporters in the aftermath.

Apple wins appeal against its enormous $14.8 billion European tax bill

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iPhone with gavel.
Decision went in the favor of Apple and Ireland.
Photo: Tingey Injury Law Firm/Cult of Mac

In something of a surprise outcome, Apple and Ireland have won their appeal against a European tax bill order which fined Apple $14.8 billion.

The European Commission ordered Apple pay the enormous sum in August 2016. According to the EU, Apple paid a tax rate as low as 0.005% of its European profits in 2014. This was supposedly part of a “sweetheart” deal it received in Ireland.

Apple’s retail tax bill on UK sales is surprisingly low

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Cash app with cash money
Apple paid $7.8 million, according to a new report.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

Apple paid 6.2 million British pounds ($7.8 million) on U.K. retail sales of $1.37 billion and gross profits of $337 million last year, a report published by i News claims.

The publication viewed Apple’s latest annual results filing at Companies House, and found that Apple Retail UK was able to reduce its pre-tax profit to only $39 million after accounting for costs and expenses.

International governments plan to rethink tax rules for the ‘digital age’

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International governments plan to rethink tax rules for the ‘digital age’
Tim Cook has said he would welcome new rules.
Photo: Pixabay/Pexels CC

The tax rules need rewriting for the digital age, and finally the world’s governments are doing something about it. On Friday, the Organization for Economic Cooperation announced that 137 governments around the world have agreed to launch a rewrite of tax rules for multinational companies the digital age.

Tax officials from the countries in question have agreed to meet in Paris for negotiations about how this might work. The aim is to crack down on the kind of tax avoidance that can happen when multinationals shuttle their profits around to different countries.

Starbucks’ tax hearing in Europe gives hope for Apple’s own tax battle

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Apple Pay finally overtakes Starbucks in mobile payments
Starbucks case could offer a clue concerning Apple's own $14.4 billion tax battle.
Photo: Nicky Colman/Flickr

Apple has received a glimpse of hope in its giant $14.4 billion tax battle against the EU. On Tuesday, the European Commission’s similar tax case against Starbucks collapsed. The EC claimed that Starbucks had received an unfair sweetheart tax deal in the Netherlands. The European Commission’s General Court overturned this earlier 2015 decision.

But another case against Fiat Chrysler concluded with the European court saying that it had enjoyed preferential tax treatment in Luxembourg.

App Store prices climb in Japan as tax increases

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iOS 11 iPad Pro
Look out for the changes next month.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple will raise App Store pricing in Japan next month in line with an update to Japan Consumption Tax (JCT).

The increase will affect sales and in-app purchases, but not auto-renewable subscriptions. Only the most affordable tier priced at ¥120 will avoid the change.

Apple will get an early indication of its EU tax case outcome this week

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International governments plan to rethink tax rules for the ‘digital age’
Fiat and Starbucks cases will offer Apple advance warning (or good news) about its ongoing EU tax battle.
Photo: Pexels

Apple could get an early indication about the likely outcome of its giant European Union (EU) tax case early this week.

Apple was in court last week protesting its 13 billion ($14.4 billion) tax bill from the EU. Although the case is likely to drag on for months, two related cases will be ruled on this week. They may offer Apple some clues about its chances of success.

Apple heads to court this week to battle world’s biggest tax case

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Anti-robocall bill is one step closer to being passed into law
Apple was handed a $14.4 billion tax bill in 2016.
Photo: rawpixel.com/Pexels CC

Apple has a fight on its hands this week as it goes to court to battle the world’s biggest tax case. The company will protest its 2016 European Union tax bill of 13 billion euros ($14.4 billion).

The EU charged Apple the money after saying it had an unfair tax arrangement with Ireland. Apple has always protested its innocence. This week, a court will start the process of deciding whether the regulators were right.

Google agrees to pay France $1.1 billion to end tax investigation

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Google
Google is the latest tech giant to be fined in France.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Google will pay a total of $1.1 billion to end a four-year probe into its tax activities in France. This is a combination of fine and repayment of additional taxes Google didn’t pay first time around.

France and Germany have both pushed for tighter tax regulations of multination tech giants. Others — Apple included — have been charged in the past. They may have to stump up more cash in the future, too.

Trump ‘concerned’ about French law targeting Apple and other tech giants

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Apple shares suffer biggest decline since August
Trump is worried French tax law could hurt tech giants including Apple.
Photo: White House

President Donald Trump is stepping up to defend Apple. Well, kind of.

The president ordered an investigation into France’s planned tax on big tech companies like Apple, Alphabet, Facebook and Amazon. The Office of the United States Trade Representative said the tax “unfairly targets” American companies.

Update 1: France passed the tax Thursday, according to Agence France-Presse: “The legislation — dubbed the GAFA tax in an acronym for Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon — was passed by a simple show of hands in the Senate upper house after it was agreed by the National Assembly lower chamber earlier this month.”

Fund containing Apple’s giant EU tax bill lost $18 million last year

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Apple is worth more than the entire US energy sector combined
The escrow contains Apple's massive $16 billion fine.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The escrow fund containing the massive $16 billion fine Apple was commanded to pay by the EU declined by $18 million last year.

The funds are being held in an escrow account while appeals by Apple and Ireland make their way through the court. In the meantime, the money is invested — but, at least based on last year, not as successfully as hoped.

German finance minister blasts tech giants which ‘pay taxes nowhere’

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Apple has previously battled the EU over tax avoidance.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

Germany’s finance minister Olaf Scholz has slammed tech giants that “pay taxes nowhere.”

It’s the latest shot at tech giants such as Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon which have previously clashed with the European Union on tax issues. In an interview with CNBC, Scholz argued that “we should find a global agreement” to shut tax avoidance loopholes.

New French tax law could take on tech giants like Apple

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Apple is worth more than the entire US energy sector combined
The EU has been trying to solve the problem of taxing the tech giants.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The EU has gone after companies like Apple as part of a crackdown on what it views as unethical tax avoidance. As part of that mission, France is today debating a draft GAFA tax law.

An acronym derived from Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon, the proposed GAFA law could put a 3 percent tax on revenues for tech companies with annual revenue of more than 750 million euros ($842 million). From the name of the proposed law, it’s no secret which companies that would involve.

Apple will pay France $571 million in back taxes

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Apple France tax
Apple's tax bill in France will be deductible.
Illustration: Cult of Mac

Apple has agreed to pay French authorities around $571 million in back taxes, according to new reports.

Apple today confirmed the deal but did not disclose the sum itself. The agreement comes after a multi-year audit into Apple’s accounts by the French tax administration.

Apple won’t pay Cupertino ‘head tax’ after all

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Apple waives developer fees for nonprofits, others in 8 additional countries
It's not like Apple has the cash to spare!
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple won’t have to pay additional taxes to the city of Cupertino based on the company’s number of local employees, city officials have decided.

Some Cupertino City Council members planned to give voters the opportunity to decide whether Apple, and other large local businesses, should pay a “head tax.” Apple would have paid around $9.4 million annually to the city. However, those plans have now been scrapped.

Apple declines chance to defend EU tax case

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money
Apple doesn't want to speak in public about its tax dispute.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple has turned down the invitation to publicly testify before the European Parliament’s special committee on tax evasion. According to the company, the reason is that it doesn’t want to risk doing anything which could harm its ongoing appeal against the massive EU tax bill it faces.

In a letter to the EU committee published today, Apple said that, “It is important to ensure public commentary does not prejudice those proceedings.”

Cupertino wants to squeeze extra taxes out of Apple

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money
Headcount tax would charge Apple for every employee in Cupertino.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Cupertino could introduce a tax that would charge Apple an additional fee based on its number of employees. The city has hired a firm to poll residents asking their thoughts on such a tax, and how it should be spent.

At present, Apple has upwards of 25,000 employees in the Bay Area, although it’s not clear how many of these are specifically based in Cupertino. Apple is Cupertino’s largest employer, and has been for many years.

Apple starts paying off its massive $16 billion European tax bill

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European Commission could get even tougher on tech in 2020
Apple's payment means EU will drop may drop its lawsuit against Ireland.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple has transferred the first 1.5 billion euro ($1.18 billion) installment of its $16 billion fine ordered by the European Union, reflecting back taxes the company supposedly hasn’t paid.

The payment was confirmed today by Ireland’s Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe. In response to Apple paying up, EU authorities are reportedly open to dropping a lawsuit against Ireland for failing to do more to chase Apple’s debt.