Apparently today’s the day we find out about Apple and taxes

I’ve rather got myself pegged to an estimate of €200 million to cover a decade. One the grounds that it’s some minor tidying up of transfer pricing rules, not a full blown condemnation of the basic structure. JP Morgan has said “up to €19 billion”.

Will be fun to see who is right, no?

14 thoughts on “Apparently today’s the day we find out about Apple and taxes”

  1. but the direction of spin is clear- EU orders Ireland to recalculate the tax. good EU. Ireland in league with the fruit comes up with the paltry 200m offering.

  2. The BBC (Today programme) are confidently asserting the EU will be demanding “billions” in back tax. And since they’re infallible and scrupulously neutral on such matters, I think that ends the matter?

  3. It is a Corporation after all…

    Unfortunately, we do – in this neck of the woods – understand tax incidence. If CT is charged, it can fall on some combination of shareholders (no real ones), workers (srsly?) or consumers via increased pricing. No prizes for guessing how this will pan out.

  4. P-G,

    Given Apple’s huge pile of moolah, I suspect this is one occasion where the usual rules of incidence aren’t as applicable. Okay, the effect (assuming the billions rather than the millions) will be less money available to distribute to shareholders, but as they aren’t doing that at the moment anyway …

  5. Bloke in North Dorset

    Now that the usual suspects have been primed to expect billions there’s going to be all hell to pay if Tim is rigt and it comes out at £200m.

    More popcorn.

  6. @TPG

    In this case, shareholders will wear it. Apple already charges the most it can for iStuff (including the kinda-monopoly profits from being the only people selling actual iStuff) and is competing with global players, not all of whom may have a tax bill to pass on.

    Irish workers may pay heavily, but on the whole I’d say that the global nature of Apple is such that it is already paying market-edge wages at both the top and bottom ends. It’s not as if a tax bill will mean they push Foxconn for a better price than they would have done anyway.

    Shareholders have made the gains from the rise and rise of Apple, and it’s big sexy cash pile, and I don’t see how they avoid wearing whatever comes from this. But most of them are rich and/or American, so the EU doesn’t need to care.

  7. £11bn. That’s chunky….. Mind you, years of appeal to go. But it won’t do Ireland, or the EU, any favours in attracting global businesses.

  8. Out by a factor of 65, it seems, but I’ve been more wrong than that myself before.

    @Bob Grahame
    “…years of appeal to go. But it won’t do Ireland, or the EU, any favours in attracting global businesses.”

    Rather stuffs up tax certainty doesn’t it?

    Wonder if Philip Hammond is rather pleased by then news. Must surely reduce chances of large firms doing a Brexit flounce from the UK.

  9. Richard Murphy’s take on the EU judgment…..

    “This is a great day for the sovereignty of the EU’s nations when it comes to tax. They will now be able to choose their own tax policies knowing another state should not be consciously undermining them when doing so.”


    EU says Ireland cannot choose their own tax policy. Murphy declares this is great because it will now mean EU countries will be able to choose their own tax policies.

    You. Could. not. make. it. up.

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