Idiot stupidity

I am outraged that Apple is outraged by its tax bill (Apple rages at EU’s €13bn tax demand, 31 August). Apple has hundreds of stores in Europe to sell its products. The message to Apple is very simple: if any of your stores catch fire, don’t bother to call the fire service. If you are burgled, don’t call the police. If you want to deliver your products using public roads, you can’t. If someone falls off a ladder in one of your stores, don’t call the medical services.

If you do not want to pay your taxes, fine. But do not expect to use the infrastructure paid for by our taxes.
Neil Holmes
Bromsgrove, Worcestershire

Fire and police are paid for by rates, of which business rates are a large, around half, part and which stores do indeed pay. Roads are paid for out of fuel duty, which the lorries delivering do pay. Medical services, the NHS, are at least nominally paid for out of national insurance, a tax upon wages, which Apple employees do pay and with regard to the employers’ part (ignoring incidence) Apple does pay.

But then they are all thick in the Midlands, aren’t they?

34 thoughts on “Idiot stupidity”

  1. But then they are all thick in the Midlands, aren’t they?

    Fluoridation of the water supply. See also Tyneside. (Liverpudlians have no such excuse.)

  2. I’m from the midlands. Given all my Facebook friends from home wailing about Brexit I’m inclined to agree…. Which now I think about it is odd given my town voted mostly leave.

  3. DJ: Nothing personal but the most likely answer is that you need a new set of friends because the ones you have are scum. Or fools at best.

    As for Apple stores–apart from the roads –as it would be a task to procure the land etc to build your own–all the other “services” (given the level of the state’s provision of them the “” is appropriate) Apple could obtain for far more for far less than the states rip-off rates and at far better levels of service.

    Indeed the 13 billion rip is excluding what Apple will have to pay as rates on its stores to the local thieves who are supposed to part-pay at least for firemen and bluebottles.

  4. So if the Guardian offices caught fire, we shouldn’t send any fire engines, as their parent group massively avoided tax by being flogged via that well known spot for left-wing campaigning newspapers, the Cayman Islands? What does Neil think of that?

  5. So Much For Subtlety

    So basically he is saying that if I want the police to come when my home is robbed – and that would be a nice change I have to say – I am somehow obligated not only to pay whatever the State demands of me, but whatever sum of money some unelected bureaucrats may well demand at some later point far off in the future, and perhaps whatever sum of money a handful of ranting leftist bloggers as yet unborn might claim I owe decades from now?

    Apple, scum as they may be, paid what the law required. As they and the Irish government understood it at the time.

  6. “Apple, scum as they may be, paid what the law required. As they and the Irish government understood it at the time.”

    Being the Irish government, the law in Ireland ‘should’ be what they say it is. Its only because they’re in the EU that isn’t the end of the matter.

  7. Rob. The Cayman island companies were uk tax resident so for tax purposes were treated the same as if they were uk incorporated. Try understanding the facts before using something to attack another poster

  8. @Perry: the Guardian doesn’t pay any corporation tax either, because it makes losses every year, and is subsidised by other parts of the conglomerate. So if corporation tax payments determine if your building burns down………………….

    Incidentally, could some of the tax experts on here explain how the Guardian is allowed to continually make losses every year and still be considered a business? As I understand tax law a business has to make some profits eventually otherwise its considered a hobby and not a business.

  9. The Cayman island companies were uk tax resident so for tax purposes were treated the same as if they were uk incorporated. Try understanding the facts before using something to attack another poster

    Could you help me find where the Spectator was sued for libel, for writing

    the Guardian Media Group’s use of a tax-exempt shell company in the Cayman Islands to avoid paying corporation tax when it sold its 50 per cent holding in Auto Trader to Apax Partners in 2008

    (http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2016/04/will-the-guardian-now-investigate-its-own-tax-arrangements/)

    Or maybe where Guido was sued when he wrote

    In 2012 we checked to see if GMG was still using GMG Hazel Acquisition 1 Limited, the controversial tax-exempt corporation which it set-up in 2007.

    (http://order-order.com/2014/01/21/guardian-sells-autotrader-for-1-billion-moment-of-truth-for-guardianistas/)

    Thanks.

  10. So Much For Subtlety

    Perry – “The Cayman island companies were uk tax resident so for tax purposes were treated the same as if they were uk incorporated. Try understanding the facts before using something to attack another poster”

    Generally speaking, I think understanding the facts is a good idea. But not all the time. Some times you come across a comment that is unsupported by any evidence, is in direct contradiction to widely accepted knowledge, is being made by some anonymous blow-in with no history or credibility and is generally ideologically prejudicial to a whole range of political positions dear to me.

    In that case I am likely to opt for the simpler explanation that it is a load of steaming fetid dingo’s kidneys from a trolling tosser who is likely to be lying. On a good day at any rate. On a bad day I might be a little rude.

  11. Londoners are thick bigots too; they just engage in repeated proof by assertion that they’re so much smarter and more tolerant than everybody else. And they’ve got the media as a bullhorn.

  12. SMFS –

    I read The Groan comments with my first coffee of the day, before my brain wakes up. It’s amazing how many lefties state things as fact which are obvious and provable nonsense.

    It seems to be their M.O.

  13. Jim, not an exact but the Graun is still regarded as being run “with a view to profit”, even if it isn’t making any. It can continue because it is supported financially, Without that assurance it would cease to “a going concern”, which would upset the audit report.

  14. “he Graun is still regarded as being run “with a view to profit”, even if it isn’t making any. It can continue because it is supported financially, Without that assurance it would cease to “a going concern”, which would upset the audit report.”

    Well how long can they do that? I bet HMRC would take a dim view if I ran a business at a constant loss and used income from elsewhere to offset against the losses.

  15. There’s a far more fundamental point here:

    “But do not expect to use the infrastructure paid for by our taxes.”

    Why? I pay taxes in part to fund infrastructure for businesses to use for my benefit, that’s the whole point.

  16. I bet HMRC would take a dim view if I ran a business at a constant loss and used income from elsewhere to offset against the losses.

    Why should they? Everyone is entitled to be an idiot, as long as they’re not breaking the law. See the writings of Ritchie, passim ad nauseam.

  17. Bloke in North Dorset

    “Don’t we have fire brigades primarily to stop a fire spreading to *other* buildings?”

    I thought their primary role was saving lives, not buildings.

  18. I wonder how much wealth the Apple store in Covent Garden Piazza generates and how much of this wealth the various levels of government cream off.

    As Tim and others have pointed out, the business rates will be pretty high and then there’s the employees tax and NI bill and we haven’t yet mentioned VAT.

    Up the expenses to a business and its profit goes down. This adversly affects its share price, (with a knock on effect to your pension plan or ISA). If the business can’t generate more profit it will have to cut expenses, including closing premises and taking all that lovely wealth generation from your high street. As Insty, (channelling Heinlein) often points out, this is known as bad luck.

    In a letter being discussed over at Samizdata, Tim Cook points out how much wealth Apple generates in Ireland and the rest of the EU and why making the rules up as you go along and then applying them retrospectively might not be the best approach to ensure that your government can continue to cream off a large chunk of that wealth.

  19. @Chris: because they take a dim view of people running hobby businesses at constant losses in order to soak up surplus income elsewhere, which then goes untaxed. As far as I can see there is supposed to be an expectation of profits 3 years out of 5. When did the Guardian last make a profit?

  20. I agree, except for this “Roads are paid for out of fuel duty” roads are paid for out of general taxation.

    However the company directly benefiting from the use of the road will be the haulier, not Apple, so they are also wrong on that score.

  21. “I agree, except for this “Roads are paid for out of fuel duty” roads are paid for out of general taxation.”

    Yes, it is a common misconception that “Road Tax” and fuel duty is raised to pay for roads. The sum raised does more than cover the building and maintenance of roads, but they are not directly raised as such, for the simple reason that people would ask why the surplus was being used to buy armoured limousines for African dictators, or funding Radio Mogadishu, for example.

  22. “But then they are all thick in the Midlands, aren’t they?”

    No, not all; but most have a speech impediment!

    ********
    PS Welcome back, SMFS. We were concerned about you.

  23. Ecksy

    “DJ: Nothing personal but the most likely answer is that you need a new set of friends because the ones you have are scum. Or fools at best.”

    Nothing personal, but do you have any friends that do not share your views? Friends who disagree with my politics are work in progress: I aim to sow the seeds of doubt in their world view. That said, they would rarely be my close friends if they were dogmatic leftists.

  24. Sounds like we need a uniform, fucking great European land value tax to grab hold of any ill-gotten gains that touch down on earth. Brexiteers will be a bit fucked in that respect but then they invariably are.

  25. So, Mr. Holmes is of course wrong on the facts. But let’s set that aside and imagine arguendo that he is right: Apple doesn’t pay taxes, so it should not receive any public services.

    That is an interesting principle to see endorsed in a progressive publication. For the largest group of people who pay little or no taxes are the poor.

    So one imagines that Mr. Holmes would ban the poor from the public streets, instruct the fire department to let whatever shelter the poor find burn down, and encourage robbers to help themselves to any possessions the poor manage to acquire.

    And to think that they call us heartless oppressors of the poor.

  26. SSÆ>

    To be fair, Apple don’t pay taxes despite being rich. Not quite the same thing as not paying taxes because poor.

    Not that I support his point, of course, but your little bit of logic-chopping doesn’t really work.

  27. “Fire and police are paid for by rates, of which business rates are a large, around half, part and which stores do indeed pay.”

    It should work that way, but after the idiocy of the last budget, which exempted vast swathes of commercial property from business rates, we’re now in a situation where a lot of businesses/landlords are paying nothing to cover the costs of the fire brigade and police in the area they operate in.

  28. It’s a bit like the stuff about the banks – they pay less corporation tax, but the NI they pay, as well as the NI their employees pay and the tax on their salaries are considerable. In apple’s case the respective governments get 20% or more in VAT from every product sold, every store pays business rates (as mentioned elsewhere). On top of all this they are providing the products for other shops to sell – and thus pay wages, taxes ec

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