European Commission could get even tougher on tech in 2020

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European Commission could get even tougher on tech in 2020
Tech giants might be in trouble next year.
Illustration: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The European Commission famously handed Apple a massive $14.5 billion bill in 2016. But from the sound of things it’s only going to get tougher with Silicon Valley’s biggest tech giants.

According to a new report, EU antitrust regulators are “considering taking a tougher line” against companies. This could affect the likes of Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Google.

Tech giants accused of dodging $100 billion in taxes over past decade

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Tech giants accused of dodging $100 billion in taxes over past decade
Report looked at Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google and Microsoft.
Photo: Pixabay/Pexels CC

Tech giants, including Apple, have avoided more than $100 billion in taxes over the past decade, a report claims.

British organization Fair Tax Mark looked at the 10-K filings of Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google and Microsoft between 2010 and 2019. On its website, Fair Tax Mark notes that tax “helps to fund vital public goods and services and when paid fairly, it ensures a level playing field for businesses large and small.”

G20 countries want to close tax loopholes for tech titans

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money
Apple is one of the tech giants which shift profits to reduce tax payments.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

A group of G20 finance ministers met over the weekend to discuss closing loopholes used by tech giants to reduce their corporate taxes.

The hope is that common rules across would stop companies like Apple booking their profits in low-tax countries, such as Ireland. This is currently done regardless of where end customers may be located.

Get the help of a CPA and make filing taxes easier with Visor [Deals]

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Visor offers a new way to do your taxes, using a convenient app to connect with expert advisors.
Visor offers a new way to do your taxes, using a convenient app to connect with expert advisors.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

The average American spends about 13 hours each year dealing with taxes. That’s a lot of work to get money you’ve already earned. For years the options were either fork over money to a tax advisor, or grind through the DIY process. A new app-based solution called Visor offers a third way.

France’s president wants to tax U.S. tech giants an extra $792 million

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money
Funds could help pay some of the emergency funds Macron recently announced.
Photo: Pictures of Money/Flickr CC

Beleaguered French president Emmanuel Macron is hoping to win back public favor by putting in place tax hikes on American tech giants doing business in Europe.

France has reportedly been working with other countries in the European Union to introduce a digital tax on companies including Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google. The new taxes, set to be introduced in January, could pull in $792 million.

Germany’s finance minister wants tech giants to pay higher taxes

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What’s it like to have your startup bought by Apple? Stressful
The EU has long been pushing tech companies to pay more in taxes.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

In an op-ed for a German newspaper, Germany’s finance minister Olaf Scholz proposes a global minimum rate of corporation tax as one way to ensure that multinational corporations like Apple pay domestic taxes in line with the profits that they earn.

The European Union (EU) has long been attempting to get tech giants to stop using complex accounting tricks to shuffle profits around to minimize the amount that they pay in each country.

Apple downplays asset value in pursuit of tax rebate

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Apple Park
Apple has beef with the folks calculating its asset value.
Photo: Matthew Roberts/Maverick Imagery

Apple plays down its financial milestones these days, and there’s a good reason for that: tax.

According to a new report, Apple is one of a few companies which are “particularly aggressive” in downplaying the value of the property they own for tax purposes. Specifically, Apple thinks it’s been overtaxed on the buildings, land, lab equipment, and other expenses — and it wants to reclaim millions of dollars as a result.

Apple lists good deeds to avoid Cupertino ‘head tax’

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Apple Park Close up
Apple has long been based in Cupertino, where Steve Jobs grew up.
Photo: Apple

Apple is the reason why most non-locals know the name Cupertino. Just in case free international advertising wasn’t enough, however, the company just sent a letter to the Cupertino City Council, outlining all the nice things Apple does to benefit its hometown.

Although it doesn’t mention it, the letter conveniently arrives on the eve of a discussion on whether to impose a “head tax” on Apple employees in the area.

Cupertino postpones vote on ‘head tax’ on Apple employees

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Video tour dives deep inside Apple Park
Cupertino decided to not raise additional taxes this year on employees working at Apple Park.
Photo: Duncan Sinfield

Cupertino’s city government decided to ask voters next year whether it should charge businesses a tax on every worker. Apple is the city’s largest employer, so most of the cost would have fallen on the iPhone maker.

The original plan, while vague, was to use the additional revenue to create more affordable housing options and improve Cupertino’s transit system.