Apple, Ireland, EU, Tax Avoidance, Margrethe Vestager, CCCTB


#141

Sounds like the kind of “black and white” politics that is now standard in the US for complex issues.

(hate it, and the tyranny of it).


#142

Well to be honest Liz might well be trying to paint it in black and white terms and have an ‘either you are with us or against us’ stance. But both Ahern and Martin have been in the papers over the past week trying to sell Revenue down the river. Another finance minister and Taoiseach, Cowen has kept schtum but will probably will be wheeled out when politically convenient.

Ahern: “Former taoiseach Bertie Ahern has told The Sunday Times that Revenue never made any finance minister aware of the arrangements with Apple. Ahern became finance minister in 1991, the year of Apple’s first tax ruling. He was taoiseach in 2007 when Revenue made a second ruling.”

Martin: “I think it’s important that the independence of the Revenue Commissioners is upheld and the separation of the Revenue Commissioners and Government and politics is upheld and defended, because that has been called into question by the commission.”


#143

independent.ie/business/iris … 34545.html

Leprechaun Economics’ not all down to Apple move, insists CSO

Like I said!!!


#144

When is Noonan going to resign for deceiving to the people of Ireland in not a small but internationally damaging way and is there a ticking time bomb under the political arse of established Governance Ireland Inc?

Otherwise, we have to accept the premise that the revenue is engaged in institutional treason evading political detection and judicial rectitude and Noonan is a paragon of virtue.

Perhaps all along, the problem of reactionary inertia on this damp sod is a case of one lost in translation.

Where the tipping point to many means a dig out. XD


#145

So, an article from the Irish Examiner appears noting that economists Karl Whelan and Seamus Coffey pointed out that Apple was most likely the source of the “Leprechaun Economics” rise in Ireland’s GDP.

IRISH EXAMINER: Apple tax affairs changes triggered surge in Irish economy
irishexaminer.com/ireland/apple-tax-affairs-changes-triggered-surge-in-irish-economy-419912.html

The CSO responded - next day (a first) - on this article with this reply:

IRISH INDEPENDENT: ‘Leprechaun Economics’ not all down to Apple move, insists CSO
independent.ie/business/irish/leprechaun-economics-not-all-down-to-apple-move-insists-cso-35034545.html

Nobody doubts that the 2015 26% uplift contains a “mix of factors”, however what people are starting to realise is that c. 20% of the 26% (i.e. 77% of the uplift) is Apple (they would be c €300m of the €380m extra levy cost).

Note - if one of the largest aircraft lessors in the world, like AerCap Holdings N.V., fully inverted it’s entire balance sheet + operating business (which of course it didn’t), onto Ireland’s balance sheet in 2015, then it would increase Irish GDP by c. 3.5% (at most).

The fact that the Government still wants to “cloud” the Apple impact on 2015 GDP (and so promptly) is worrying.

It is very likely that the 130-page report and/or the appeal process, will formally disclose the size of ASI’s balance sheet. Then it will clear as to what the DOF already fully knows (and Michael Noonan will be long gone by then).


#146

Another bad article from FG Minister on Apple, Mary Mitchell O’Connor

Now the person who tried to drive down the steps of Dail Eireann…

IRISH INDEPDENDENT: Mary Mitchell O’Connor gets a lesson in Politics
independent.ie/irish-news/elections/comment-analysis/lise-hand-new-td-gets-crash-course-in-politics-26710071.html

… is giving us tax advice re Apple.

IRISH INDEPDENT: ‘Tax haven’ tag is as bad as ‘leprechaun economics’ for insults to our reputation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor
independent.ie/opinion/comment/tax-haven-tag-is-as-bad-as-leprechaun-economics-for-insults-to-our-reputation-35034611.html

Answer: (from post 1. in this thread)

  1. You can cannot transfer price, inflated Intellectual Property assets, from the Cayman (or other “offshore” location) to our EU partners, to re-route profits made in their countries to Cayman. You must be IN the EU for the scam to work.

  2. The US IRS will not allow US MNCs to defer remitting of funds (and payment of 35% US Federal Tax + c 5% US State Tax) which end up in Cayman (or other “offshore” location). While Apple Ireland’s money is physically in Bermuda, it is legally in Ireland.


**Sad that someone who sits in the Government Cabinet, and was in such a panic to pass the leglislation to Appeal the EUs Apple Ruling (two months early), has such a poor understanding of what is going on.

She might adopt a more respectful position to our EU partners and not bite the hand that feeds us …**

https://dvd.nl/media/uploads/sneeuwwitje-artikel/000072-02.jpg


#147

Even the Brits - our core allies in the EU Tax Veto re CCCTB - give us the “two fingers” as they skip out door:

IRISH INDEPENDENT: Britain backs EU on Apple as screw turns on tax rates
European finance ministers in corporation tax warning as they support Commission’s ruling
independent.ie/irish-news/britain-backs-eu-on-apple-as-screw-turns-on-tax-rates-35039159.html


#148

So with a budget looming what is to stop the government from lowering corporation tax to lets say 10% or 1% as a big F you to EU


#149

Per my first (very long, and updated) post on this thread, if the EU amend the EU TP system for re-charging IP (full CCCTB or Enhanced Co-Operation Rules), then our tax rates can be 0% (of even -1%, a la Draghi) and we are still toxic to MNCs (and they move jobs elsewhere).

Our tax rate is of 2nd order to our access to the EU TP system (in its current form). That is why (per Mary Mitchell O’Connor’s dumbo article above), MNCs don’t have Irish type operations in the Cayman etc.


#150

Mary Mitchell O’connor is so far out of her depth, it’s scary. She has to be the worst appointment as Minister ever. I’m surprised FG HQ allowed an article out under her name


#151

Special mention to the Pin


#152

Nice!


#153

*“If Liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear” *.
George Orwell

Long live the PIN !


P.S. bit too rich on the imagery there Max (we’re Irish too) !


#154

I would agree with that. If Journalists start to pepper Mary with questions about MNCs and Corporate Tax Policy at her myriad photo opps with a whos who of techs and med device companies we are truly goosed. I think Bruton has to come back sharpish. :frowning:


#155

irishexaminer.com/ireland/eu … 20532.html


#156

She’s definitely one of the worst.
Sweary Mary (Coughlan) might have been even worse?
And for pure negative impact (i.e. negative results, not just potential), Brian Lenihan is way up there.

But MMOC is very very limited, and I’d imagine is targeted by various corporate affairs outfits on that basis.


#157

As bad as she is, she has sat at the Cabinet table and heard all of the Noonan / DOF / AG discussion on Apple. She also got a copy of the 130 page EU ruling. And this is what she writes. Shows how mis-led / badly informed even the Irish Cabinet are.


#158

More from the always interesting Finfacts.ie site (if his site was easier to read and less cluttered, it would be the even more useful; some very good analysis and data on it re Ireland, that you don’t get in other media)

FINFACTS: Irish Venture Capital in 2016 - More Leprachaun Economics
finfacts.ie/Irish_finance_news/articleDetail.php?Irish-venture-capital-in-2016-more-Leprechaun-Economics-703

As with Noonan’s dodgy deal on Apple blowing our 2015 GDP up by 26%, in return for taking on up to €380m in extra annual EU GDP levies, I wonder if all of these smaller deals are paying their EU GDP levy cost of 0.25%?

i.e. If a €100m in equity deal, is “housed” in Ireland, that is c €250,000 p.a. extra in EU GDP levies for Ireland. It would be pretty stupid if the deal was paying c €100,000 p.a. in Irish advisor fees for their Irish tax avoidance post-box (on Sir John Rogerson’s Quay), and the State was still paying more in EU levies?


There used to be an Irish Department of Finance argument (doctrine), that artificially boosting Irish GDP (even if we loose all dirct economic benefit from paying extra EU GDP levies), is still worth it as it reduces Irish borrowing costs. However, with Irish Bond yields largely divorced from Irish fundamentals (solely driven by ECB activity)m AND almost at 0% anyway, this arguement would no longer appear to hold up. I wonder if the DOF watch this?


#159

Heres a revelation.
I had a family member was a member of FG many moons ago.
Hes not too bright - was more of the table-thumping type than anything - but he was a paid up member and a reliable ‘believer’ (in as far as he understood what was going on).

What shocked the family was that he was asked to stand in a few no-hoper SCD constituencys in the early 90s.
(edit - he was aware of this but was promised a ‘good’ constituency as if he sucked a few lemons first…)
The family were shocked because he was obviously running a deficit in the ‘understanding the debate department’.
Nonetheless he was pursued until family members persuaded him otherwise.
The conclusion was that FG ‘pick their men well’.
Hayes would be another one that falls into that category - and another I have experience of - a complete moron, but blindly loyal and can throw shapes convincingly.

On a completely unrelated note a farming family from Meath might be far, far brighter (and much, much more arrogant) than you might imagine.


#160

John Bruton proving his understanding of Apple Tax is one step removed from Mary Mitchell O’Connor.

I always thought Fine Gael would roll out John Bruton for their Section 110 scandal, but perhaps based on his Apple Tax article, John’s better days are behind him and his mind is elsewhere.

IRISH INDEPENDENT: Any company could have secured the same kind of deal, John Bruton
independent.ie/opinion/comment/apple-simply-applied-irish-tax-laws-at-the-time-any-company-could-have-secured-the-same-kind-of-deal-35043970.html

Let’s go through the flaws in this (you will know yourself if you read the first two posts on this thread)

  1. “Any Company could have secured the same deal”. Almost comical statement, unless all of Corporate Ireland was simtaneously too stupid to copy this (and avoid all Irish taxes).

  2. “The Government never selected Apple for this subsidy”. Correct John, Apple demanded it.

  3. “The Irish Revenue act independently of Government”. Does any Irish person believe this?

  4. “[Revenue] They hold themselves to a high standard of objectivity and integrity”. Decades of tribunals (with no prosecutions) right up to the recent Section 110 scandal (where Revenue have been shown to be fiddling with their own anti-avoidance laws to help vultures), means this has as much credibility as 2. above. If in doubt, ask this guy.

Michael Lowry (ex. Fine Gael, and John Bruton loyalist, still not prosecuted)

  1. “The Commission Ruling … creates uncertainty for other Companies”. Only the dodgy ones John. Microsoft and IBM are next.

  2. “May encourage companies to incorporate outside the EU”. Have a good read of the EU TP System manual John. There is a reason why the Apple tax scam doesn’t work from the Cayman Islands etc. The EU have more belief in themselves than Ireland, and do insist that MNCs who want to sell into their valuable markets, follow the rules (just like in the US). Only Ireland believes that every foreigner (MNC and Vulture), should be 100% tax free. That is why Ireland had the GDP per capita of a 1st world country, but the public services of a 2nd world country. A system you helped design John.

  3. “The Commission decision … attempts to change the way profits can be distributed … for taxation purposes”. No John, Apple changed the way its profits are distributed by using a dodgy IP scam in Ireland (to trap profits away from EU and US) and a dodgy Revenue ruling (which gave them “offshore” status while still legally in Ireland).

  4. “Previously Companies could get authoritive guidance from National Tax authorities”. They still can John, but if the Company and Tax Authority are colluding to abuse the international tax system, then they will still be open to prosecution by the EU.


The rest of the article is “faux concern” for the EU Commission who John fears will be weighed down with Companies checking other private rulings (only the legitimate ones I suspect), and deflected from the real issues. However, I can’t imagine that there are more important objectives for the EU Commission then challenging the biggest tax avoidance scheme in modern economic history.