Monday, December 19, 2016

“A company like Apple has to pay most of its taxes where it creates” – The Echoes

For Brussels, the profits generated by your sales in Europe should be taxed in Europe. Do you agree ?

Luca Maestri. Not at all ! In Ireland, we only have logistics activities, management of the supply chain, planning, sales or call centers. But we don’t develop our products there ! It was at Cupertino that we have our activities of design, research and development, or marketing. On the back of our products, we would point out, moreover, in all letters ” Designed in California “. However, the principles clearly acknowledged by the OECD, and that apply everywhere in the world, want that a company pays most of its taxes where it creates its intellectual property.

It is primarily for this reason that Apple is paying the vast majority of taxes in the United States. We pay taxes in France, for example, since we have good sales activities. But the bulk of the taxes that we pay on these sales, we pay in the United States because it is here that we create our products. Renault or Airbus are also paying the majority of taxes where they generate their own intellectual property.

the words of the Commission, this is not the law. It comes up with a new theory. She does not like the way this is going, so she invents another. The consequences may be catastrophic : businesses need stable rules for doing business ! The Business Round Table (which includes the bosses of big us companies, editor’s NOTE) wrote to the Prime ministers of european countries to complain about.

Bruce Sewell. The Commission opposes two tax systems, the european and the american, and it is estimated that Apple must submit to the european system even if it creates in the United States ! It makes no sense. It is for this reason that the initiative of Brussels has not only aroused the opposition of Ireland and Apple, but also that of the american government. As for the Commission, we would not only have to be taxed in Ireland on the sales that we were doing in Europe, but also on those that we did in China, in Africa or in Australia (Apple manages it from the Ireland its sales in the entire world with the exception of the United States, editor’s NOTE). It is like this that she arrives at the sum of 13 billion !

Brussels accuses Ireland of having booked via the two tax rulings of the tax benefits to your company only. The challenge-you ?

we Not only deny but, more important, in Ireland itself the challenges. The companies act, non-resident (who had a business in Ireland but managed and controlled from another country) applied to all of the world. We have not made that request in 1991 and then again in 2007 to the tax authorities the irish how much we had to pay in Ireland. It is via the two tax rulings that they have determined what was the proportion of added value that we create in this country, which were to be taxed at the standard rate, namely 12.5 per cent. And it is this basis that the Commission challenged today. It is estimated that Apple would have had to be treated as a company resident while Ireland could not, under the law, that we grant the status of non-resident.

These two tax rulings have been notified to the Commission ?

B. S. Ireland did not have the obligation. She never told us what she had done. As for the Commissioner, she said recently that she had no knowledge of these tax rulings up for the auditions conducted in 2013 by the u.s. Senate. What I find very surprising, the share of eu services in charge of State aid.

L. M. The irony of history is that if we had not asked in Ireland, a clarification as to precisely what we had to pay as a tax, there would have been no investigation of the Commission.

For the Commission, the head offices of Apple Sales International (ASI) and Apple Operations Europe there existed “only on paper” and ” could not generate as much profit “. How do you respond ?

B. S. It is completely stupid. ASI is a subsidiary that do not manufacture anything, nobody has ever denied. She had a license to distribute our products in Europe. It was managed from Cupertino by people as illustrious Tim Cook, who has served on its board. And it employed so many people in the group as necessary, pursuant to an agreement with Apple Inc.

How much are you tax in Ireland ?

L. M. Let us be clear : we pay our taxes in all the countries where we operate. There was a discussion with the tax authorities of each of these countries to see what proportion of these activities is to be taxed locally. We are in the range of the sector. In Ireland, we do more than sell products ; we pay so additional taxes. We’re also the largest taxpayer. We pay us only 8% of the corporate income tax. If one calculated from the 13 billion euros that the Commission asks us to go to Ireland, this rate would increase to 40% !

Is it true that you have not paid any tax in Ireland prior to 1991 ?

L. M. No, we have always paid taxes on our activities. We have certainly enjoyed the benefits on some of them (the production oriented towards export, editor’s NOTE), but that is all. And don’t forget that at the time we were losing money, so we didn’t have to pay corporate tax.

B. S. We still paid the 12.5%.

Why did you change your organization in 2015 and what is it today ?

B. S. We no longer affiliate with the status of a company not resident in Ireland because in 2015, this country has changed the law that allowed them to not pay taxes on the value created locally. One of two subsidiaries that we still exist under a different name, and with the company’s status as a resident.

are you Afraid that the Apple brand is tarnished by the accusations of the Commission ?

L. M. It worries us very much. People come to us because we stand for certain principles : the protection of privacy, the promotion of diversity… And we want to be an exemplary citizen in all the countries where we are present. Be associated with tax evasion is for us very disappointing. The Commission creates doubts in the public opinion and, in fine, in the minds of consumers.

With the crisis, public opinion is likely to be less willing to accept that multinationals evade tax. Apple should not take it into account and review its practices ?

L. M. A company can only comply with the law. In fact, this is not a case that aims to determine whether Apple should pay more tax, but where he must pay for them. . Overall, we pay 26% tax ! To say that we don’t pay enough taxes, this is not true. On the other hand, we call for a long time to a large tax reform in the United States and in the world…


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