Thursday, September 8, 2016

Time For Apple To Pay Big Taxes

Apple got a big surprise last week when the European Commission ordered Ireland to collect more than $14 billion in back taxes from the company. The global giant had been attributing billions of dollars in profits to a phantom head office, allowing it to pay a tax rate of 1 percent or lower.

Both Apple and Ireland are appealing the decision, but the commission’s announcement was the latest sign that multinational corporations are running out of places to hide from paying taxes. The door is now open for Congress to fix our own corporate tax code, which has allowed the biggest multinationals to shirk their obligations for decades.

The Apple ruling is big, but it is only the latest international effort to end the deals that American multinationals have used to pay near-zero tax rates. The European Commission is investigating Luxembourg’s tax arrangements for Amazon and McDonald’s, and last year the European Court of Justice struck down tax advantages to companies and their subsidiaries selling e-books throughout Europe. Also last year, Britain enacted a new tax to target profits siphoned off by international companies - nicknamed, without much subtlety, the “Google tax.”

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It's instructive that the EU is going after these corporations while the US Congress has been their lap dogs.

Do you suppose the US effort to go after Russia and wreck the economies of Europe is part of a plan not just to promote TTIP but also to ensure these tax havens continue to exist? It would not surprise me.

The corporation as an instrument of business, trade, and wealth accumulation MUST be either brought back under public control or abolished. Here's why:

We, the People are the reason corporations exist at all. They are legal structures enabled by our legislatures and enforced by our courts to serve our purposes. We, the People decided to allow this form of legal structure to serve us by aggregating the needed resources to accomplish large-scale projects that serve us. They are supposed to provide us with benefits in the form of goods and services and good jobs and taxes.

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