×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

How Apple Sidesteps Billions In Global Taxes

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the floats-like-a-butterfly-stings-like-duty-free dept.

Government 599

An anonymous reader writes "An article at the NY Times explains the how the most profitable tech company in the world becomes even more profitable by finding ways to avoid or minimize taxes. Quoting: 'Apple's headquarters are in Cupertino, Calif. By putting an office in Reno, just 200 miles away, to collect and invest the company's profits, Apple sidesteps state income taxes on some of those gains. California's corporate tax rate is 8.84 percent. Nevada's? Zero. ... As it has in Nevada, Apple has created subsidiaries in low-tax places like Ireland, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and the British Virgin Islands — some little more than a letterbox or an anonymous office — that help cut the taxes it pays around the world. ... Without such tactics, Apple's federal tax bill in the United States most likely would have been $2.4 billion higher last year, according to a recent study (PDF) by a former Treasury Department economist, Martin A. Sullivan. As it stands, the company paid cash taxes of $3.3 billion around the world on its reported profits of $34.2 billion last year, a tax rate of 9.8 percent."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

599 comments

Why does Apple hate America? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39834399)

Good citizens pay their fair share, so it must be asked: why does Apple hate America?

Re:Why does Apple hate America? (2, Insightful)

MacDork (560499) | about 2 years ago | (#39834419)

But my capital gains have already been taxed once!! Er...

Re:Why does Apple hate America? (5, Interesting)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 2 years ago | (#39834533)

No they haven't. They probably haven't been even taxed once.

Your dividends have been, sort of....

Personally though I don't think corps should be taxed at all. It gives them too much ammo to say things like 'taxation without representation' etc.

If we didn't tax corps then I think it would be easier to ban political speech by corporations.

The income to individuals from corps would then be taxable as ordinary income and we wouldn't have the whining about dividends being taxed twice, or the baloney about US taxes on corporations being high.

We also wouldn't have the baloney regarding local jurisdictions competing for corps based on tax give backs.

All in all it would be a nicer world....

Re:Why does Apple hate America? (2, Interesting)

Stewie241 (1035724) | about 2 years ago | (#39834557)

Meh. If it wasn't tax give backs it would be other incentives to encourage companies to create jobs.

Re:Why does Apple hate America? (2)

CFBMoo1 (157453) | about 2 years ago | (#39834629)

Or we could just say that companies are not intelligent living breathing biological entities and don't deserve taxation with representation. If a corporation wants representation go as the individual citizens working for that company. They got the representation all the way up to the CEO and board of directors as long as they're American citizens.

Re:Why does Apple hate America? (2)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 2 years ago | (#39834753)

We don't say they are

1. Living
2. Breathing
3. Biological entities

all we do is create a legal fiction that gives them some of the rights of people.

Just too many...

To be fair (1)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | about 2 years ago | (#39834423)

These are corporate profits. Whoever actually owns the company still gets taxed on any of the value that they sell or get dividends on. So apple's rate may be 9.8%, but most people who get the remaining 90% still pay more taxes. Just not usually in the same year.

Re:To be fair (0)

bhcompy (1877290) | about 2 years ago | (#39834513)

How many shares did Jobs sit on until he died and never paid taxes on(and probably still won't, since they're probably in a trust anyways)? Yea, it's a dumb and trolly question, but who cares? It's true

Re:To be fair (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39834553)

You're right. It is a dumb question, because you're not taxed for owning shares of stock. That only happens to profits you make when you cash them out.

Re:To be fair (2)

bhcompy (1877290) | about 2 years ago | (#39834605)

Yes, and since everyone is bitching about paying taxes here, there are plenty of people that have a problem with executives tax dodging because they have $1 salaries but multimilliondollar stock compensation packages. These are the same people that do the same thing with corporate earnings to drive their stock value higher.

Re:To be fair (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39834621)

You can't walk into a grocery store and buy groceries with stock. You need to sell that stock for cash. At that point it becomes income and you are taxed on it.

Re:To be fair (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39834695)

Only if it is sold within (twelve?) months? Otherwise it is capital gains tax, which is taxed at a lower rate and can be offset against losses.

Re:To be fair (4, Insightful)

Fjandr (66656) | about 2 years ago | (#39834749)

You absolutely do not need to sell stocks. You can simply borrow against their value for your expenses. The only thing you end up paying is interest on what is basically revolving credit. That interest rate will be much lower than paying yearly taxes on the same amount.

Re:To be fair (4, Informative)

Local ID10T (790134) | about 2 years ago | (#39834761)

You can take a loan against the value of your stock. This is not income, and is not taxable.

In many cases, the interest paid on that loan is tax deductible. If structured correctly you may never even make a payment, the interest is simply added to the principle (it is still tax deductible). When the time comes you sign over the stock (not selling it, mind you!) to the lender, having exchanged the stock for real property and taking years of tax deductions on the supposed interest -still without paying any taxes.

Its shady, but not illegal. Loopholes exist for the rich to take advantage of.

Re:To be fair (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39834783)

I can't comment on the law in the US, but in Australia, that loophole doesn't exist. If I own shares, I can borrow against those shares. But the key question is, what did I use those funds for? If I used them to invest - buying more shares, buying property, buying bonds - the interest is tax deductible. If I used them for personal matters, the interest is not tax deductible.

In addition, the moment I sign a contract to hand over my shares to the lender, I trigger a capital gains tax event, and I have to pay CGT on the value of the shares at the time of the handover. The fact that money didn't change hands along with the shares is irrelevant; it's still a CGT disposal, and tax is still payable.

In my opinion, the US needs to be broken up into the individual states, and the federal government disbanded (so the state becomes the country, and what's currently the country disappears completely.) Perhaps two or three states might band together to form a larger country, but the US as a whole is too big; it encourages cronyism and corruption.

Re:Why does Apple hate America? (5, Insightful)

PhunkySchtuff (208108) | about 2 years ago | (#39834459)

Why should anyone have to pay more tax than they're required to by law?

Corporations have more loopholes than natural people to reduce the amount of tax that they pay, but even normal people have a number of ways that they can minimise the amount of tax that they're required to pay. If these methods are perfectly legal, then why would you not avail yourself of them?

Would you voluntarily pay more tax than you are legally obliged to?

Furthermore, I can absolutely guarantee you that Apple are not the only company doing this, they're just the flavour of the month and they generate page views around here. s/Apple/Microsoft/g, s/Apple/IBM/g or s/Apple/Google/g or pretty well any other large company at all and the story will read the same.

Re:Why does Apple hate America? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39834511)

Why should anyone have to pay more tax than they're required to by law?

Not the question at hand, but a fine Straw man all the same.

Do you actually believe it is morally OK for corporations to seek loopholes to escape what is otherwise their fair-share responsibility to the country that provides the framework for their existence? If there was no America there would be no Apple. Every dollar cheated from the Government (read: you and me) is one less dollar less that can be invested in the public infrastructure (the thing that once made America great).

So please just answer the question: why does Apple hate America?

Re:Why does Apple hate America? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39834627)

It's not a straw man. You're of the opinion that it's immoral to avoid taxation, even when it's entirely legal, suggesting that your "fair share" is every tax that could possibly be applied to you if you volunteered to do so.

He's saying that's crap, and I have to agree. As far as I'm concerned, the tax liabilities you subject yourself to is largely an ammoral subject, as long as you're working within the law.

If you don't like the tax code, deal with that. There's no reason to be angry at individuals and companies doing what they legally can to avoid taxation above and beyond what they're required to pay. You're only owed what tax law says you're owed, and they're abiding by it.

Re:Why does Apple hate America? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39834655)

Right. Every dollar not confiscated by government is wasted by staying in the private sector. Tax and spend socialism is clearly what is responsible for America's historical prosperity.

Re:Why does Apple hate America? (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about 2 years ago | (#39834657)

Certainly its logical to minimize your tax liability. But its interesting to me that Apple only paid 9.8 percent. We individuals pat at least twice that, and closer to 30%. The country is by and for corporations, I can't see that there's much one can argue against that. The constitution is dead, a more current one should probably read like a EULA.

Re:Why does Apple hate America? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39834785)

Also note that Apple pays 9.8% on their *profit*, you pay ~30% on your "revenue." Apple's effective tax rate on their revenue would certainly be less than 5%.

Re:Why does Apple hate America? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39834733)

What you redefine as fair-share and loopholes, the rest of us call the law. They teach this at university too.
YOU DOPE!
The problem of teaching logical fallacies [theskepticsguide.org] is mostly only liberal socialist democrats bother to learn them at our fine liberal socialist institutions. They are mainly used to justify arguments of forgiving student loan debt which was mostly accumulated at the local pub.
The rest of us have no problem with this method of argumentation.
oh, you mentioned straw man, I kind of got caught up in Ad hominem. - It's my favorite.

Re:Why does Apple hate America? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39834669)

Why should anyone have to pay more tax than they're required to by law?

Why? Because they love their country. That's why. Because they give back to the people that made them successful, and the elected government of that people.

Sounds like apple HATES america.

Re:Why does Apple hate America? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39834731)

Move your focus from Reno just south to Incline Village, a town on Lake Tahoe, and you'll find lots of very, very rich Americans hiding from the taxman, including our dear friend Michael Milken. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Milken)
Hey, it's the American Way.
it's not illegal to protect your assets.
It's not illegal to buy as much influence as cou can afford.
It's not illegal to keep all this subrosa activity cloistered.
And as long as Americans continue to approve of things like "Citizens United" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizens_united) they will continue to get the best government money can buy!

Re:Why does Apple hate America? (4, Informative)

Shoten (260439) | about 2 years ago | (#39834481)

Wake up. Almost all corporations do this. HP does this. IBM does this. Dell does this. It's not called 'hating America,' it's called 'loopholes.' If you were beholden to shareholders and you were in charge of a corporation, you would do it too, I bet. And if not...you would never be in charge of a corporation for long.

Re:Why does Apple hate America? (3, Insightful)

mcavic (2007672) | about 2 years ago | (#39834499)

As long as they're doing it legally, there's nothing wrong with playing the game by the game's rules.

Re:Why does Apple hate America? (0, Troll)

joocemann (1273720) | about 2 years ago | (#39834725)

As long as they're doing it legally, there's nothing wrong with playing the game by the game's rules.

So exploits are ok? From what I garner, exploits are wrong unless its Apple and the opinion comes from a fanboi. No 'reason', just feelings.

Legal !=right. And you already know that, but doubletalked anyway...

This is news? (1, Insightful)

Swampash (1131503) | about 2 years ago | (#39834401)

Pathetic.

Once upon a time Slashdot really was "news for nerds, stuff that matters" - now it's "any excuse to get the word APPLE into a story headline for the SEO bait to get ad impressions up".

Re:This is news? (0)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | about 2 years ago | (#39834771)

Pathetic.

Once upon a time Slashdot really was "news for nerds, stuff that matters" - now it's "any excuse to get the word APPLE into a story headline for the SEO bait to get ad impressions up".

Corporations are now people. Slashdot is a corporation. People have Klout scores. [klout.com] Slashdot is just trying to improve theirs in order to get more Klout Perks.

So Apple paid less in taxes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39834405)

than the 30% they charge developers at the app store.

Re:So Apple paid less in taxes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39834571)

But when you factor in these 20% Apple iTunes/AppStore gift cards Best Buy is frequently selling, it basically works out to the same 10% or so.

Disgraceful (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39834409)

Instead of setting up offices in the lowest tax locations, companies should be looking to create offices where tax rates are highest.

After all, give any slashdot reader the choice between paying a lower or higher rate of tax we'd all choose more, wouldn't we?!

We wouldn't? Oh, never mind then.

Re:Disgraceful (1)

eugene ts wong (231154) | about 2 years ago | (#39834531)

Please correct me, if I'm wrong, but the point of the summary is that they set them up in high tax locations, often times, but they set up "fake" offices in zero tax areas to avoid the taxes that they really ought to pay.

If 99% of your workers are in a taxable location, then the corporation is benefiting from the taxable location. Therefore, the company ought to be pay taxes in a taxable location. Corporations are persons too, therefore they ought to pay taxes where they live and do business, just as we do.

Re:Disgraceful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39834585)

If 99% of your workers are in a taxable location, then the corporation is benefiting from the taxable location.

And the taxable location is benefiting from the income taxes paid by those employes, the sales taxes charged on people of said company people by, the property taxes on the buildings owned by the company...

Re:Disgraceful (2)

icannotthinkofaname (1480543) | about 2 years ago | (#39834713)

So basically, you're saying that because the natural people who live in and benefit from the taxable location pay income taxes in that location, the corporation that lives in and benefits from the taxable location should not have to pay income taxes in that location?

Call me when you decide to believe that corporations should acquire all of the responsibilities of people if they want to be recognized as people.

Juat think (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39834425)

If we get rid of those tax-and-spend Democrats, we can lower corporate tax rates EVEN MORE, and thus create MORE JOBS....at Foxconn...in China.

Doesn't every big company do this? (5, Insightful)

sam_paris (919837) | about 2 years ago | (#39834443)

I mean, I know it's the fashion to bag Apple now they're the biggest company in the world, but I thought it was common knowledge that virtually all big companies do everything they can to avoid taxes. In fact, I don't see how it's much different from pretty much every individual in the USA trying to pay as little tax as possible either. If an accountant said, "Oh hi there, I can help you avoid $3000 bucks in taxes and it's all legal" what would you say, no?

Re:Doesn't every big company do this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39834521)

Not to mention, this is such a big loophole, even the little guys can use it. I live in NYC but I'm applying for an LLC in Delaware because it's just cheaper.

Re:Doesn't every big company do this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39834639)

Just because everybody does it, doesn't mean it's good.

And for those who argue that they should attack the other people first, I would imagine that everyone who could be attacked on this would also throw the "why are you picking on US" card meaning no one could be called out on it.

Re:Doesn't every big company do this? (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 2 years ago | (#39834715)

Just because everybody does it, doesn't mean it's good.

And yet that doesn't stop you from doing it.

Re:Doesn't every big company do this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39834759)

We can't live in a state we don't actually live in to avoid taxes, that's how it's different.

And, more importantly, when we start a business to compete with them we have to locate where the talent is and likely can't afford to just have a second tax cheating office. So it's damaging to the market.

Re:Doesn't every big company do this? (2)

Fjandr (66656) | about 2 years ago | (#39834789)

People are essentially pissed off because the more money someone (or something, in the case of companies) has, the more options they have.

Ordinary people, by-and-large, do not have the money to take advantage of loopholes designed to protect a lot of money since the upfront costs outweigh what they'd save. However, they also rarely even bother exercising the options they have in front of them to stop paying taxes almost completely (charitable donations, medical savings accounts, educational savings accounts, retirement savings, etc).

Bullshit. (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | about 2 years ago | (#39834451)

Without such tactics, Apple's federal tax bill in the United States most likely would have been $2.4 billion higher last year

No, it would be the same as it is now, they'd just locate their facilities elsewhere. Whoever wrote this is an idiot who doesn't know anything about how businesses make decisions.

Re:Bullshit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39834523)

Which nicely illustrates the problem, doesn't it? What do you think would happen if I set up a bank account and drop box in the Caymans, and just had my employer send my checks there without withholding any taxes?

Perhaps anything imported into this country manufactured by a company not based in the US should be subject to a 'use tariff', similar to the use tax that I have to pay on things I buy over the internet or out of state.

Don't hate the player, hate the game (5, Insightful)

sycomonkey (666153) | about 2 years ago | (#39834453)

Apple has a fiduciary responsibility to avoid as much taxes as legally possible. This is more indicative that the laws are not written correctly, rather than that Apple is doing something "wrong". Of course, congresscritters might be hesitant to fix these loopholes, since a lot of their sponsors directly benefit from them. In fact, that may or may not be why they are there in the first place, but the saying "don't attribute to malice what you can attribute to incompetence" probably holds here.

Re:Don't hate the player, hate the game (-1, Flamebait)

roman_mir (125474) | about 2 years ago | (#39834567)

By the way, the real game that needs to be hated is this:

the government sees you and your earnings as its own property. They are only asking themselves one question: how to maximise the government revenue, while the only question they should be allowed to ask is this: what is the bare minimum that gov't is allowed to do and how much should it cost.

People, your earnings are your property and it's your life time that you are spending on making that money. Gov't taxes are theft not only of your money, but of your LIFE, because you have to spend your life making that money.

It's forced labour, it is slave labour. The government is using you as slaves.

AFAIC Apple should fund an army and take the government down.

Re:Don't hate the player, hate the game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39834643)

Gov't taxes are theft not only of your money, but of your LIFE, because you have to spend your life making that money.

It's forced labour, it is slave labour. The government is using you as slaves.

AFAIC Apple should fund an army and take the government down.

Actually, real slave labour is entirely different and much, much worse. If there was a way to opt out of the various infrastructure, security, legal protections and other benefits from belonging to a nation, I'd say you might have a point... but there isn't, aside from moving to Somalia, and it turns out that kind of Anarchy isn't what people want. What you're proposing is getting something for nothing; it's popular when you're the one getting something, and never popular when you're the one giving it, and always an illusion.

Re:Don't hate the player, hate the game (1)

Fjandr (66656) | about 2 years ago | (#39834815)

What you're proposing is getting something for nothing; it's popular when you're the one getting something, and never popular when you're the one giving it, and always an illusion.

That's the state of most societies. The argument is always who should be the group giving and who should be the group receiving. You can't say the US doesn't already have a lot of people living in it doing much more giving than they receive and an enormous contingent of people who receive all those same benefits (and frequently many more) while giving almost nothing.

Re:Don't hate the player, hate the game (4, Insightful)

DogDude (805747) | about 2 years ago | (#39834667)

Oh, please. Quit with the taxes=theft thing. Sane adults understand that we need governments and taxes. Ayn Rand/Tea Party silliness isn't based in reality. You'll understand when you grow up and interact with the world a bit more.

Re:Don't hate the player, hate the game (3, Insightful)

Fjandr (66656) | about 2 years ago | (#39834831)

Nobody should quit saying it, because it's true. However, most people realize that there are overall benefits to such systematic theft. As long as it's pointed out, we may have some restraint on how much is taken because the ends should be justifiable given the means. If they are not justifiable, the means should not be employed in that area and there should be a great deal of protest if they are employed in such a manner anyway.

Why youi need taxes (1)

manu0601 (2221348) | about 2 years ago | (#39834735)

the government sees you and your earnings as its own property. They are only asking themselves one question: how to maximise the government revenue, while the only question they should be allowed to ask is this: what is the bare minimum that gov't is allowed to do and how much should it cost.

And the answer is: it depends. capitalism helps rich people increasing their wealth, while the poor get poorer. Democracy is an antidote, since the many poor can force some wealth redistribution through taxes. And we should be glad this mechanism exists, since when the poor gets too poor to buy what is produced, the economy collapse.

Telling that taxes should be low is not a natural truth, it is a political opinion, and depending on the economical situation, following that route may be harmful for everyone

Re:Don't hate the player, hate the game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39834579)

This is more indicative that the laws are not written correctly, ...

We the people could do something about that. Except that half of us are G.E.'s so there probably isn't the momentum to. So SMB's and people in the upper economic half will continue to pay to their fair share while no one else does.

Re:Don't hate the player, hate the game (1, Interesting)

happyhamster (134378) | about 2 years ago | (#39834633)

There are little things called ethics and morality. One would find entire paragraphs in corporate employee handbooks about how an employee is supposed to act ethically at all times. Whether Apple's tactics are illegal is up to court to decide, but their employees who set up the whole scheme definitely act unethically, and, by my standards, immorally.

Re:Don't hate the player, hate the game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39834765)

You are basing your claims on the assumption that taxation is moral and avoiding taxation by legal means is immoral. I don't subscribe to that newsletter.

If the taxation is moral and Apple is using that system of taxation to pay the amount of taxes required by Apple under that system I don't see how this could be called immoral.

If, on the other hand, Apple, who has obligations to shareholders, employees, and customers, were to pay more than the minimum required taxes, that would mean they were not upholding their obligations to their shareholders (who would get less profits), employees (who would have fewer raises, perks), and customers (who would have to pay higher prices). That strikes me as immoral.

The other problem with your point of view is that those who have the *least* stake in Apple ought to be paid not what they *say* they ought to be paid (via the tax code with threat of force to back it up) but by what *you personally* feel they should morally be ponying up.

Re:Don't hate the player, hate the game (4, Informative)

subreality (157447) | about 2 years ago | (#39834813)

Many disagree with that ethic. In fact, in the landmark case for tax avoidance, here's what they had to say:

"[A]nyone may arrange his affairs so that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which best pays the treasury. There is not even a patriotic duty to increase one’s taxes.

Over and over again the Courts have said that there is nothing sinister in so arranging affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible.Everyone does it, rich and poor alike and all do right, for nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands: Taxes are enforced exactions, not voluntary contributions.

To demand more in the name of morals is mere cant."

Re:Don't hate the player, hate the game (4, Informative)

Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) | about 2 years ago | (#39834683)

Hate the game indeed. The whole system is rigged to favor the fat cats. Obama's "job czar"??? Jeff Immelt, as CEO of General Electric, has orchestrated a situation where one of the largest employers in the US and generator of billions in profits pays a pittance (if anything at all) in US corporate taxes.

Republican...Democrat....they're all for sale to the highest bidder. And people just wink at that while the media waves their hands about who Kim Kardashian is blowing this week. zzzzzzzzzz.....

Re:Don't hate the player, hate the game (1)

ankhank (756164) | about 2 years ago | (#39834775)

"No one wants unnecessary regulation. And rules ought to be clear and simple. But let's be real. Most of the complexity and verbiage that finds its way into the Code of Federal Regulations is the result of industry lawyers and lobbyists who exploit every potential ambiguity to avoid doing what lawmakers intend -- thereby necessitating ever-more detailed and picayune rules to close the loopholes. It's an endless cat-and-mouse game that runs from regulatory agencies through the courts and then back again." -- Robert Reich

There's your big government problem. We'd have a smaller government -- if we got rid of the loopholes and the large staffs needed to keep track of all the fine distinctions that create them, enforce them, and watch for the new ones coming out every year.

just like every other global company (1)

pbjones (315127) | about 2 years ago | (#39834465)

Yawn.. lets examine MS or IBM, or any major global company. about 10% tax? sounds a little high, there are business execs who pay 5%.

it's called (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39834495)

smart business, you dumbshits - try starting your own company and working for a living

And this is a story? (1)

thomasw_lrd (1203850) | about 2 years ago | (#39834501)

Why exactly is this a story. Replace Apple in the headline with a * where * means any major corporation. I mean Microsoft, Google, Samsung, Sony, and all of them do it.

Oh Look... (4, Insightful)

whisper_jeff (680366) | about 2 years ago | (#39834509)

Oh look, another story that is actually about virtually every major company in existence but it's turned into a story by replacing "every company" with "Apple" to make it sensational and generate page views. *yawn*

Re:Oh Look... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39834797)

You mean, Apple, the company that bills itself as a maverick that makes its own way, that does things 'right', is shown to be rather run-of-the-mill money-grubbers like those it decries? Yeah, nothing newsworthy there.

Ah, the obvious tax troll (1)

Rob_Bryerton (606093) | about 2 years ago | (#39834529)

So is the implication that there is tax evasion, fraud, or perhaps some other unsavory conspiracy afoot? I'm betting that Martin A. Sullivan has resorted to such tactics as itemized deductions and other writeoffs, and perhaps... well, I don't want to make any accusations here, all I'm saying is Mr. Sullivan really doesn't *have* to employ such tactics, and he could give up more of his (hard?) earned money to his state and federal governments. In the same way he implies that an evil corporation (my words, not his) is dodging taxes, I think he may probably, almost definitely, be involved in that kind of activity as well. Why would he want to deprive , say, the IRS of his money using legal means to limit his tax bill? Does he hate America?

Remember, the IRS happily accepts donations, as I'm sure other state run tax collection/enforcement agencies do as well. So, please, feel free to donate! They do accept donations. Feel free to give 'em more of YOUR money. Or you could, I don't know, use every available legal means at your disposal to limit your tax liability, seeing it's YOUR money, and YOU earned it.

Dear lefties (0)

Scareduck (177470) | about 2 years ago | (#39834535)

Just because you think every penny spent or earned is yours does not make it so, or a good idea.

Re:Dear righties (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39834587)

Just because you live in a vacuum of moral relativism doesn't mean we all do. Some of us believe in paying our fair share, and this ranges the entire scope from not making fraudulent deductions to not using shell corporations and loopholes to hide shift profit from legal and rightful taxation required to sustain the country. Profit is not derived without responsibility.

Re:Dear lefties (1)

tftp (111690) | about 2 years ago | (#39834601)

Just because you think every penny spent or earned is yours does not make it so, or a good idea.

What? You mean that if I work whole day digging a ditch, that labor does not belong to me? You are saying I'm a slave?

My labor belongs to me; it is mine. (A simple test: I can choose to not work.) For the good of the society we choose to donate some of that money to the state, to be wisely used for specific purposes that are defined by law [*] We call this money "taxes."

[*] Unfortunately, for some reason that also includes $500K vacations of members of Emperor's family.

Re:Dear lefties (1)

Fjandr (66656) | about 2 years ago | (#39834837)

I believe that line was actually referring to people who had done none of the work to earn those pennies, but instead believe it to be theirs to do with as they please despite having nothing to do with its production.

New Branding? (1)

GeneralTurgidson (2464452) | about 2 years ago | (#39834541)

Similar to organic food, the US Treasury could offer companies a stamp for their products indicating they pay their share of taxes. It could be a picture of people dumping te--cash into a harbor.

Oh no, battle ahead (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 2 years ago | (#39834551)

Cue the red/blue cultural war in 3...2...1...

One thing that makes me nervous about too much concentrated wealth is that orgs and zillionaires use it to buy political influence such that we no longer are a democracy. This is one reason why a larger portion of our GDP has been gradually shifting toward the wealthy since WW2.

If one can find a way to put a check on this, then I wouldn't be so nervous about it. The Citizen's United ruling didn't help.

More anti-Apple bias (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39834559)

Nothing to see here, folks, just another "this american life" style HOAX piece designed to hurt apple and drive users away. unfortunately for you anti-apple zealots and windows/linsux fanboys, Apple ain't going anyway.

Think different.
Think BETTER.
Think *APPLE*!

Paying Almost 10%? (1)

Wild Wizard (309461) | about 2 years ago | (#39834563)

Looks like they need to try harder, they must be paying one of the highest rates for a multinational corporation.

OT Why can't I log in via the drop down box at the top right, does it not support user names with spaces?

Please run this story again next week (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39834575)

Change the title to How Microsoft Sidesteps Billions In Global Taxes.

I want to compare the responses to determine:
The % of Slashdotters that hate Apple.
The % of Slashdotters that hate Microsoft.
The % of Slashdotters that live in California but are too dumb to move.
The % of Slashdotters that wont stop till they take every freakin dime I have.
 
Well, Ok, I don't really care about the first three.

Wait, what?!?! (3, Interesting)

Rytr23 (704409) | about 2 years ago | (#39834577)

Wait.. Apple paid ~10% in federal taxes? But I thought 'Merica had the one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world and companies were fleeing to banana republics to avoid them!!

DOesn't seem that low, considering... (1)

asdf7890 (1518587) | about 2 years ago | (#39834581)

Look at what certain other companies pay and 9.8% seems quite high (the example that springs to mind is Vodafone who pay close to 0% in the UK despite taking in a fair amount of income over here, though I'm not sure what their global aggregate tax rate is).

High paid individuals too. The best known example there being Bono who is now essentially Dutch, at least for tax purposes. I suggest he take the next step like Hotblack Desiato and be dead for tax purposes! (I can't promise it'll be quick and painless, but I've got a perfectly serviceable bat I'd be willing to help him out with)

This really isn't "news". It happens all the time, it has done for as long as there has been corporate tax, and you could no doubt find far better (or worse) examples than Apple with little effort.

The difference between innovation and whining (1)

fermion (181285) | about 2 years ago | (#39834609)

Microsoft complains that the US laws and taxes were too stifling, so whined that if the laws were not changed they would take their toys and move to a playground in Canada. Apple works within the rules and innovates methods to minimize the impact.

I fucking hate apple. (1)

drunkennewfiemidget (712572) | about 2 years ago | (#39834625)

But I can't hate them for this -- every single corporation in existence does this, and until the laws are changed to better handle it, I don't fault companies for doing whatever they can to take advantage of them.

I make $77K and am taxed 30% in New York City (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39834679)

fuck that, I'm going AWOL now.

Re:I make $77K and am taxed 30% in New York City (2)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | about 2 years ago | (#39834741)

fuck that, I'm going AWOL now.

Vote with your feet. America is a country with 49 other options for you besides NY/NYC. Quit griping and show them that they and their unions simply aren't worth the price any longer.

Meanwhile... (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 2 years ago | (#39834709)

Apple gets to leverage our legal protections and infrastructure for free. This is why corporations should be paying taxes and not just written off because they hire people. We have to hire armies of accountants to deconstruct their obfuscated tax returns, stretch out our infrastructure to support their sprawling campuses, and accommodate all of the lawsuits they fling back and forth between each other.

This is news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39834711)

OMG! Apple does what other companies do! Don't tell anyone - but I've even heard .... shhhhhhhh ... that they make computers!

Holy motherfucking shit on a cocksucking mime sucking jesus christ's cock cuntlips fag! THIS IS NEWS that will GET ADD IMPRESSIONS! Get this flamebait bullshit on the interwebs STAT!

Slashdot is for fags. MMMMmmmmmmm cock!

I See a Stupid Point, and a Thoughtful Point (1)

Eightbitgnosis (1571875) | about 2 years ago | (#39834721)

Stupid point: Apple is choosing to incorporate where the taxes and laws are most favorable

Thoughtful point: Apple is using multilayer international tax law in order to reduce the lion's share of their taxes.

Liberals Talk The Talk (2, Insightful)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | about 2 years ago | (#39834729)

Rich Liberals (Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, GE, Apple) talk a good line about how we all need to pay our fair share (i.e. always more than we're paying now), and they become Good Liberals for saying so, but they never walk the walk. Buffet has been fighting a full billion $ that he owes for the last decade. Gates doesn't write checks for above his minimum tax, but instead employs highly paid accountants to minimize his taxes. GE hides profits overseas and you just read all the twists, turns, and contortions that Apple goes through to avoid US taxes -- yet we celebrate them as a company and continue to buy their overpriced trinkets manufactured by outsourced overseas jobs.

But do we ever hear about all of that? Hell No! We only hear that ROMNEY (who is paying his lawful rate) DOESN'T PAY ENOUGH TAXES!

We are clueless as a society overall. In Pogo terms: We have met the enemy, and he is us.

Ohh oohh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39834747)

Is it like IKEA? They set up a fake "charity" in Holland ???

how USA manages to remain an union? (1)

manu0601 (2221348) | about 2 years ago | (#39834781)

In the UE we are just discovering how harmful is mandatory free capital movement across states with different tax rates. What surprises me is that the USA managed to remain an union for so long with such a system.

Don't wish higher taxes on Apple (1)

Boawk (525582) | about 2 years ago | (#39834799)

Keep in mind that every company has to recoup its costs which includes taxes. If a wand could be waved to ensure all computer manufacturers paid higher taxes, you would see higher computer prices, not lower profits. Those higher taxes come out of your pocket, not the company's. Apple's prices are set according to what the market will bear relative to their competitors. If taxes on all computer manufacturers increase, so will prices.

low tax places (1)

Bram Stolk (24781) | about 2 years ago | (#39834807)

Huh? Since when is Netherlands a low tax place?
I suspect a journalistic error here. Maybe the author meant to say Netherlands Antilles, the Caribean island nation?
The Netherlands though, has some of the highest taxes in the world.
Try 21 percent sales tax, 52% income tax and US$9.28 per gallon gas (most of which is tax).
Corporate taxes are not much lower.

Re:low tax places (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39834823)

39.2% versus 25.5% is not that much in your mind? No wonder you didn't bother to quote the numbers.

This calls for the Judge Learned Hand quote... (3, Insightful)

jejones (115979) | about 2 years ago | (#39834833)

"Anyone may arrange his affairs so that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which best pays the treasury. There is not even a patriotic duty to increase one's taxes. Over and over again the Courts have said that there is nothing sinister in so arranging affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible. Everyone does it, rich and poor alike and all do right, for nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands."

Now, you may think the law should demand more. I would disagree with you. I don't resent Apple their ability to avoid taxation, any more than I would resent a friend who managed to escape a thief or mugger with minimal damage or loss.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...