October 2, 2020 | News | No Comments
Apple’s $14.5 billion E.U. tax bill—plus its promises to “repatriate at least some of the billions of dollars of cash it holds offshore as early as next year,” as the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday—merely provide more evidence that the U.S. corporate tax code must be reformed, progressive observers and tax fairness groups said this week.
“The European Commission action is a chastening reminder to U.S. policymakers that our tax system has enabled much of the tax-dodging antics in which Apple and hundreds of other corporations have engaged,” Matt Gardner of Citizens for Tax Justice’s research arm said Tuesday in response to the news that the tech giant had been ordered to pay as much as €13 billion ($14.5 billion) in back taxes due to an illegal tax break granted by the Irish government.
“Congress needs to close the deferral tax loophole that creates the opportunities for this massive profit shifting by Apple and dozens of other U.S. multinationals,” Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF) executive director Frank Clemente added.
“Over the next 10 years,” he said, “the deferral tax loophole will allow corporations to avoid paying about $1.3 trillion in U.S. taxes they owe on profits held offshore until those profits are repatriated to the U.S. If the loophole is closed, corporations would have no incentive to transfer profits offshore and stash them in tax havens.”
“Now it is time for the U.S. Treasury Department to follow suit and investigate Apple’s profit shifting and tax dodging,” ATF and SumOfUs declare in a petition that bore more than 18,000 signatures as of Thursday afternoon.
However, not only are Apple and Ireland opposing the ruling, as Common Dreams reported, but U.S. lawmakers and Treasury Department officials are expressing outrage, too—and not at Apple for its tax avoidance, either.
In fact, Alan Rappeport wrote at the New York Times, most lawmakers and business groups “defended Apple by arguing that the European Union was overstepping its authority and reinterpreting international tax law to unfairly penalize the company.”
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