Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Apple's Tax Avoidance

Upon seeing a poll in The Journal.ie, I started thinking deeper about Apple's tax mess (that has recently come to light despite going on for years): 
                if it wasn't Ireland, it would've been some place else.  

It's possible Apple chose Ireland to avoid the typical tax-havens (Cayman Islands, Switzerland, etc.), and therefore, "legally" get away with not paying taxes here.  Apple has seriously been on the cutting edge of things lately, so why not be on the cutting edge of tax evading?
It annoys me to no end that what Apple did is technically legal, and therefore, they very likely won't be punished in any way.  And what would their punishment be--pay a fine?  Big damn whoop!  Just like that hefty fine the banks had to pay for their part in the foreclosure nightmare (and ultimately, global financial meltdown).  Never mind that many states used that money to plug budgetary holes, which meant people actually hurt by the foreclosure nightmare won't see the money or at least, not much of it AND never mind that a total of several billion taken from banks, who can make billions in the blink of an eye, won't make a bit of difference, so that the "fine" is more like plucking a grain of sand from a beach.  But I digress...

As much as I LOVE Apple's laptops and desktops (not a fan of the phone or tablet that have taken over the world), should we really be surprised? I mean, hell, the computers weren't even made here until a Dec. 2012 promise to bring jobs back to U.S.--and notice that that promise says "some computers"--not all.  And they were applauded for that.  

And as often as we've seen and read stories about companies in this country not paying any taxes (GE and Verizon to name just two), should we really be surprised anymore?  I mean, isn't it obvious by now that once you get so large, you don't really have to pay taxes because you find every loophole, tax shelter, minimally-taxing country to stash your money meanwhile, regular folks MUST pay taxes or they'll lock our asses up.  Hell, even celebrities, who are often millionaires, aren't immuned from being locked up--just ask Wesley Snipes and Lauryn Hill or any of a number of other celebs.  I guess they had money, but they weren't a corporation or didn't have the right accountants or something.
And once you get so big that the fucking Supreme Court says "you're a person" and can affect elections just like regular people can, who can stop you?  You'll simply buy a politician who will propose a bill that benefits corporations, lobby for it, and get it.

So, when will we stopped being surprised by this shyte and start fighting back and demanding change? 

It is NOT acceptable that a company as large as Apple can stash their money elsewhere for years to avoid paying taxes here and then have the audacity to say, "well, if you lower the corporate tax rate, we'll bring the money home."  Excuse you!  Your company is hear; you owe taxes here.  Pay them.  It's non-negotiable... or should be.
 How about if we're really going to commit to this "globalization" nightmare dream, companies shouldn't be able to pick and choose when and where they will pay taxes?  How about if a company is in a country, they must pay taxes in that country or those countries if they have offices everywhere?  

Can you imagine the revenues this country would have if all companies located here paid their taxes?  Hell, we're not even talking about increasing any taxes.  Just if they paid what they should, at their actual tax rate instead of using all sorts of loopholes, shifting money, moving it out the country, etc.  What kind of budgetary holes would that plug for the country?  Would we even be in a sequester right now?

We likely wouldn't even need to increase tax rates on the wealthiest citizens if companies simply paid what they owe.  And we need to cut off corporate welfare.  Tax breaks and incentives for simply existing?  Seriously?!  You station your company here, you pay taxes here.  Simple.

I know I'm oversimplifying shyte, but geezalou.  Citizens must pay; why can't they?

Ok.  Off my soapbox.

Be well.

Be informed.

Participate.

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