How to pay no taxes at all! (if you're Apple, Google or Facebook)


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/07/30/how-to-pay-no-taxes-at-all-i.html


#2

Taxing the 1% is un- Merica, don’t ya know.


#3

“starving their host countries like Australia of so much money”

… because as we all agree, host countries are naturally entitled to their residents’ money. It is only by governmental largesse that we retain any of our earnings. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!


#4

Gotta pay for that military somehow.


#5

So, I can do this with my wage income too?

Right…taxes are for the little people.


#6

Its way to simple to have a flat private and corporate tax rate. There does need to be some level of allowances and deductions for some things written within the code.

That said, perhaps the best way to handle it is much like a sports salary cap system. The NFL does this by having a cap and also a floor. That is teams must spend at least X but no more than Y.

Taxes on corporations should be similarly structured. You must pay Y, but with the right deductions you could get it down to X. and X for corporate Tax would never ever be less than the maximum for a private citizen.


#7

The outrage here is that fictional people get taxed differently than real people.


#8

real people get taxed differently than other real people too


#9

I hope the boycott goes well.


#10

What I want to know is where he got that sweet Bride-of-Frankenstein-style beard!


#11

OK, that is funny… BUT why hold Apple “hostage” when they are, in fact, obeying all the laws? Why not pressure the governments which, in this video, are highlighted as the ones looking the other way? It’s Apple’s duty to its shareholders to maximize profits, and if they weren’t taking advantage of these legal and tax loopholes, then they’d be beaten by the stock holders. Tim Cook has said as much publicly. Fix the laws, don’t try to pressure a company into paying taxes it doesn’t have to.


#12

And um…cough that currency isn’t actually yours. It’s been loaned to you provisionally by your government.
Check your laws, my friend. That’s how governments legitimize taxes, and many economic regulations.


#13

Isn’t that what I said?


#14

What I find most interesting is the whole sort of corporate vs people duality which seems to have been basically been dumbed down to liberal vs conservative to the point that legitimate discussion of the concept is often quickly shouted down.

Both sides seem to have legitimate points, but also horribly constructed points, but there just seems to be shouting and not actual discussion.

If one were to ask 1000 people to name 3 “liberally minded companies” I am sure that Apple would be in the top 5. I mean they even had a gay baby hawk their products. But their costume of being liberal and touchy feeling and socially minded (which they are, in some aspects) doesn’t mean they won’t also take advantage of every loop hole or squeeze every ounce of productivity from the manufacturing plants - something usually one would thinkg of some evil corporation full of Republicans lighting cigars with $100 bills.

Anyway, point being, we really do need to fix the system. By people far smarter than I or most congressmen. It needs to be simplified and even across the board. Yes over taxing can lead to hindrance of the economy, but it seems to me some of the biggest players are getting away with not even a modest share.


#15

Right. Because Apple is struggling so much financially. (But at some level I agree with what you’re saying. It’s the old, “don’t hate the player, hate the game” defense.)


#16

Didn’t you see Glengarry Glen Ross? You want access to the marks for free? A giant pool of customers protected by the military and connected by roads and relying on a stable currency and you think you get those leads for free?


#17

you could, of course, try living without roads, airports, sea ports, access to education or medicine or any kind of basic public infrastructure no fire service no rescue service no state no public health, no infection control no…planning control

I know it’s not a particularly popular concept in the Anglo-Saxon world but the idea of taxation is to ensure there is a reliable public infrastructure accessible by all that facilitates economic activity as well as people’s private fun.

It’s kind of the difference between places like Haiti or Central African Republic and places like Australia and USA–try living without rubbish collection. In Haiti they do it–and it’s not much fun.


#18

Sure, Apple is making a LOT of money… but since when do we vilify a company for being successful? Especially when they are doing it making a product that we all willingly (anxiously) buy. Yes “don’t hate the player, hate the game” is the right analogy. And again I’ll reiterate; Tim Cook has publicly stated that he feels Apple SHOULD pay more taxes and that the loopholes should be closed, but as long as they are there, it’s his responsibility to the shareholders to take advantage of them. I’m not saying Apple is totally innocent; but I am saying that if you feel this strongly about the tax situation, complain to your government that controls the situation… don’t call for an obviously ridiculous boycott that’ll never work or impact Apple one iota.


#19

The price I’m paying for the iPhone in Switzerland is basically the same as it would cost in the US (taxfree), plus Swiss taxes (sales tax, recycling pre-payment tax, mp3 tax). So I’m assuming if Apple had to pay all their corporate taxes in Switzerland instead of Ireland, they would simply rise the price by approximately that amount (like they already do with all existing taxes) and thus sell fewer phones. I can see no way Apple would (or even should) do this, unless Switzerland makes them.

Also note that the probably most obvious thing for Apple to do would be pay most of their taxes in the US (since that’s where they are based and invest the money to develop their products). While they do pay their 35% taxes for gains they make within the US, they would be taxed 39% for the profits they move back to the States from Ireland (or any other country). Note that they already payed taxes (2.3% if it’s Ireland); the US tax is would just be added. That 39% is definitely too high, IMO. I understand why they just keep in in Ireland as long as they don’t need it at home.

It’s also worth noting that the video has nothing to do with how much Apple pays taxes to the US. That’s a completely different Story (the one with the 39% tax).


#20

I think a good solution would be if Apple could pay 50% of the local corporate gain taxes to the country where it makes the sale, and the other 50% to the country it wants the money to be. So for example, if a country has 20% corporate gain taxes, it would pay 10% of the profits to that country, and another 10% to the US where they move all the profits to eventually.

The US would have the power to do this all by themselves by allowing such taxation instead of insisting of their 39% they don’t get anyway.