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Apple’s tax affairs: a symptom of the robber-baron culture

Updated with further information about Brazil’s decision – see below.

Now also on Angry Bear, Middle Class Political Economist

From the Financial Times:


More precisely, a group of 185 American CEOs has sent letters, co-ordinated by the Business Roundtable lobby group, to the leaders of 28 EU member states to try and get the European Commission to row back from claiming €13bn in underpaid taxes from Apple. They call the attempt a “grievous self-inflicted wound”.

Report: the investor case for country by country reporting

September 13, 2016   Blog, Country by Country

fact-imageFrom the FACT coalition:

New Report: Investors at Risk by Lack of Corporate Tax Disclosures

Shareholders Increasingly Stymied by Opaque Corporate Tax Practices as Authorities Crack Down, Finds New FACT Analysis

Apple Tax Ruling “Just the Tip of the Iceberg”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Investors are at an increasing risk due to the lack of information disclosed by companies about their tax practices, according to a new report published today by the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency Coalition (FACT Coalition)—a non-partisan alliance of more than 100 state, national, and international organizations working toward a fair tax system that addresses the challenges of a global economy and promoting policies to combat the harmful impacts of corrupt financial practices.

New analysis: why Google is paying just 2% tax rate in the UK

The Daily Mirror newspaper in the UK is running a story entitled Google is paying even LESS tax than thought as UK deal is just 2%. 

This is based on a new TJN analysis, based not on current tax rules but on what Google might pay if the UK were to adopt a fairer tax system that we’ve advocated. We analysed Google’s tax settlement in the UK for 2014, and we find that – even after a deal with the UK tax authorities to pay a little extra tax – just one tenth of the Google’s real profits are actually declared for tax purposes in the UK. This results in a real, effective tax rate of around two per cent.

Why Google (and other multinationals) are still not paying their fair share of corporation tax

This guest blog by Tommaso Faccio of Nottingham business school complements a guest blog we ran on Friday by Sol Picciotto, also about Google’s all-important tax affairs.

Why Google (and other multinationals) are still not paying their fair share of corporation tax

Google says that it pays the tax required by every company in every country it operates. This is true apart from where the odd tax audit has resulted in tax settlements which have marginally increased the corporation tax it paid in some countries. 

We learned in last week’s Public Accounts Committee meeting in the UK, with representatives from Google and HMRC [the UK tax authorities] how current international tax rules set by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), allow Google to earn revenue from UK (and pretty much all non-US) customers and have them booked in Ireland, where the associated profits are taxed at a lower corporation tax rate (12.5%) than would be applied in most countries.

Which countries have the right to tax Google’s income?

Recently, amid the furore over Google’s surprisingly low tax payments in the UK and in other countries, it has been suggested, as one observer put it to us:

“The claim is that international tax law accrues profits to where products are created, and not where sales are made. For example, a UK company that makes lots of sales in the US still pays most of its corporation tax in UK.”

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