Daily Management Review

EU Tax Penalty on Apple may hit U.S. Taxpayers, says a ‘Concerned’ White House


EU Tax Penalty on Apple may hit U.S. Taxpayers, says a ‘Concerned’ White House
Since the action by the European Commission of ordering Apple Inc to pay billions in unpaid taxes to Ireland seemed to undermine joint U.S.-EU progress on creating a more fair international tax system, the White House said on Tuesday that it was concerned about the incident.
Again since it was possible that Apple might be able to claim the EU order for Apple to pay 13 billion euros ($14.5 billion) in back taxes in the United States as a tax deduction, it would be unfair to U.S. taxpayers, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said
The European Commission on Tuesday ordered Ireland to reclaim up to 13 billion euros ($14.5 billion) in taxes from U.S. technology giant Apple.
"We are concerned about a unilateral approach ... that threaten to undermine progress that we have made collaboratively with the Europeans to make the international taxation system fair," Earnest told a briefing.
On the other hand, the EU ruling against Apple in context of back taxes has forced the U.S. Treasury to say on Tuesday that the actions of European regulators could hurt foreign investment.
"The Commission's actions could threaten to undermine foreign investment, the business climate in Europe, and the important spirit of economic partnership between the U.S. and the EU," a Treasury spokesperson said on Tuesday
But this not the first time that large US corporations have faced the heat in Europe there have been several instances of similar action against tem by the EU commission.
The U.S. coffee shop chain Starbucks was ordered to pay up 20 million to 30 million euros in back taxes to the Netherlands government in October 2015. Like the Ireland government, no claims for taxes had been made by the Netherlands and both the government and the company had jointly announced their intention ot appeal against the ruling. 
Similarly, the Luxembourg authorities were asked to recover 20 million to 30 million euros from carmaker Fiat in taxes in the same month as the Starbucks ruling. Luxembourg said it would appeal.
Due to the participation by 35 companies in a tax scheme not compliant with EU competition rules, all the 35 companies were ordered to cough up a total of around 700 million euros to Belgium by the Commission in January 2015. Sources had said the largest beneficiaries were ABInBev, Atlas Copco, BASF, BP and Proximus were among the companies accused even though the Commission did not name the companies involved. Atlas Copco said it had made a provision of 300 million euros.
Between 50 and 90 percent of the tax due to profits arising from, for example, economies of scale, which were not liable to tax in Belgium, could be reduced by Multinationals based in Belgium according to the scheme that was introduced by the Belgian government. This reduced the corporate tax bases of the multinationals.
There are also a number of ongoing investigations by being conducted by the commission.
Online retailer Amazon's tax deal with Luxembourg is currently being scrutinized by the Commission. In another ongoing case, the commission claimed that the U.S. fast food chain McDonald’s had not paid any corporate taxes in Luxembourg or the United States on royalties paid by franchisees in Europe and Russia since 2009 and hence in December last year, the EU competition enforcer announced it was investigating a deal between McDonald's and Luxembourg.

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