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

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Donald Trump and Tim Cook
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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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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Cash app with cash money
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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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
Europe continues to chase Apple for unpaid taxes.
Photo: 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 money
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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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.”