Apple’s Cook says tax system needs to be ‘rehauled’
Apple shareholders are enjoying the benefit of hundred of billions of dollars in international earnings the company bought back to the U.S. over the last few years. Now that cash is safe, company boss, Tim Cook, says he thinks the global tax system ‘needs to be overhauled’.
The world agrees with him
While risk takers and money earners have every right to profit from their efforts, most people seem to think the nature of the current tax system means huge quantities of profit flow through shadowy tax vehicles.
These vehicles mean billions in corporate profit appears to flow through the system without encountering local taxation. This leaves big shortfalls for the exact infrastructure upon which corporations build profits on.
Of course, as more and more aspects of daily life get turned into multinational app-driven services, we’re seeing larger chunks of economic productivity become hoovered up by firms who use these weird tax vehicles to minimize the cost of doing business.
They often argue that their success provides employment to people, but they neglect to spot that taxation also helps train, house, feed and raise the people they employ to make those profits in the first place.
There are no easy answers, but one response might be to develop a harmonious tax system that enables people and companies to profit from their labors at the same time as ensuring they put enough money back into local communities to enable the locations in which they do business to thrive. While many feel tax is morally wrong, why is it that in most cases it’s individuals who pay it, while corporations don’t?
These and other matters are what the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is attempting to resolve in its new work to pursue global reforms over where multinational firms should be taxed.
However, such agreement is unlikely to happen fast, no matter what Cook, or the OECD, says.
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What Tim Cook said
“I think logically everybody knows it needs to be rehauled, I would certainly be the last person to say that the current system or the past system was the perfect system. I’m hopeful and optimistic that they (the OECD) will find something,” Cook said in an event in Ireland.
Apple is currently going through the process of challenges to what the EU calls “illegal state aid” in Ireland. That’s a case that seems set to run and run.
Celebrating 40 years of Apple in Ireland with our remarkable and growing team at Hollyhill! Your hard work and dedication to our customers and the communities we serve reflects the best of what we stand for. Here’s to the next 40! 🇮🇪 pic.twitter.com/ADiRz3yoOP
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) January 20, 2020
Apple is also one of Ireland’s biggest employers. It has 6,000 employees in Cork, where it first began working in 1980 with 60 staff.
— Robert Shortt (@RobertShortt) January 20, 2020
While receiving this he said:
“I believe deeply that our most important work together is still ahead of us,” hinting once again that Apple is plotting some bold – and I guess business expanding moves.
Meanwhile, the OECD recently confirmed that trade tensions (particularly between the U.S. and China) have derailed the global economy, slowing investment and denting confidence.
“Growth is set to remain subpar as trade tensions persist, while contributing to the divide between people,” OECD Chief Economist Laurence Boone said. “Governments can and must act together to restore growth that will be sustainable and benefit all.”
We’ll see how that goes…