I had an interesting stage, there is the potential that I was changing my mind in a case. The stage is given via the BBC (at https://www.bbc.com/news/business-53416206) ‘Apple has €13bn Irish tax bill overturned’, my first thought was (and I have written about it in the past) the clear stage where Apple (Google also) has had its fingers in the tax-is for too much and for far too long, but the article gives two parts that requires thought. The first is “The European Commission brought the action after claiming Ireland had allowed Apple to attribute nearly all its EU earnings to an Irish head office that existed only on paper, thereby avoiding paying tax on EU revenues” in that instant there is all the drive and motivation to bring that supervillain Taxman to bear on the tech giant, let them suck the blood from the body of Apple until it cries for mercy. Yet the other part is “However, he said Brussels was likely to appeal and EU efforts to tackle tax avoidance would continue” ad here we see two parts, the first is ‘tax avoidance’, you see, tax avoidance is legally allowed, it means to pay the least applicable amount of taxation. Tax evasion is illegal, it is the setting where no taxation is paid at all, as such Apple did not break the rules and the stage is actually larger, the quote ‘tackle tax avoidance would continue’ is an issue that optionally Margrethe Vestager should (or could) be regarded as a joke, the issue is not whether Apple is being dodgy, it is the fact that the tax laws after all these years (10 at least) have not been adjusted to the degree that they should be adjusted to. Instead of large windbags of claimed activity that go nowhere, we see the need that the EU had to properly set the tax laws and in this Apple (as well as other FAANG members) did not commit any crimes. They merely used the tax laws to set the proper stage and apparently you can have an empty office, just like the Apple Stores have almost no stock, it is all shipped from the US (sometimes after 9 weeks) so nearly every Apple store is basically a gigantic display case (oversimplification, I know). Yet no matter how joyful and enjoying kicking Apple is, in this case they seemingly did no wrong, the fact that a judge is willing to hand back 13 billion Euro, as such, what is Margrethe Vestager crying about? It is seemingly clear that the tax laws are at fault, in this the organisations above the European Commission have faltered and Apple lived towards the letter of the law and applied what was legally allowed. So when we realise that these laws have been unadjusted for the better part of a decade, who is to blame, Apple or the European lawmakers?
So when we see the end of the article giving us: “However, he said Brussels was likely to appeal and EU efforts to tackle tax avoidance would continue. “We expect the EU to continue applying pressure in this area,” he said.” And when we see this, how useless is the EU? Tackle appeals whilst the tax laws themselves are flawed, and Ireland is part of this, the stage where Apple was allowed to have “an Irish head office that existed only on paper”, so there wasn’t even a staff-member member? In which universe can we blame Apple for using the law to avoid taxation? If we are a nation of laws, the stage must be that the law states “Law is commonly understood as a system of rules that are created and enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate behaviour”, this is not me, we get that from Robertson, a bit of an expert on the subject. So when we see that part and agree that we are are a nation of laws, the entire matter we observe becomes a farce, and a bad one. We agree that we use laws as a system of rules, and then let the rules be applied in the way it was, so why blame Apple? It is merely another example on just how useless the EU has become, a gravy train without rules of accountability.
The EU get what it deserves, as far as I can tell, and as we cannot see any opposition to the black letter law that applies here, Apple is almost scot free. We will enter a new debate soon, the spirit of the Law versus the letter of the law, and in this Apple remains innocent, optionally Ireland ends up in the dock for setting a stage where the spirit of the law is avoided.
I never changed my mind, I merely adjusted my personal verdict to the facts that were made public.