Talking about tech and tax giants means stepping into muddy terrain where companies of the caliber of Apple, Google, and Amazon move at ease. thanks to huge law firms and accounting experts who manage their accounts.
Tax havens, outdated legislation and existing loopholes in tax matters create scenarios of allegality that end up being, in many cases, a true “gold mine” for those giants who have the resources, both financial and technical and human, to create an infrastructure that allows them to get a slice of it.
This reality has given rise to truly scandalous situations. For example, Google paid more money in fines in 2018 than in taxes, and Apple was able dodge the payment of 13,000 million euros in taxes thanks to an agreement with Ireland, a topic that we already told you about a few years ago in this article.
The fact is that said agreement was considered unfair, which started a process of the European Commission against Apple in which even a provisional refund of the € 14.3 billion in back taxes plus interest that the apple company had been able to omit thanks to that agreement with Ireland. It seemed that Apple did not have anything easy, but in the end he has managed to play his cards and was marked a “provisional” victory.
Apple came to pay a tax rate of 0.005%
It is enough to read the bases of the litigation to see that it is something scandalous. The agreement between Apple and Ireland allowed, in exchange for certain specific guidelines associated with job creation, that the Tim Cook company was taxed with a reduced tax rate since 2003, which went from 12.5% to 2.5%, and that in 2014 it fell up to 0.005%. Intolerable, without a doubt.
The case is that the General Court of the European Union has ended up agreeing with Apple and Ireland. Said country has supported the Cupertino company throughout this legal adventure, in fact, it appealed against it the decision of the European Commission, and we suppose that it will have celebrated the resolution of said judicial body.
The basis on which this resolution is based is clear, the General Court of the European Union considers that the European Commission has not shown that Apple has benefited from illegal aid or tax agreements. Tax all sales of Apple products made in Europe as if they had happened in Ireland it must be normal, in view of the court’s decision.
Controversies aside, Apple has not yet been spared, since this decision is subject to appeals before the Court of Justice of the European Union. There are many interests involved in this case, since the Trump Administration is an ardent defender of its multinationals, and a condemnation of the payment of those 13,000 million euros (plus 1,300 million euros in interest) could open the Pandora’s box and move the United States to take trade measures against Europe.