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View Diary: Is Apple about to pull off one of the largest tax dodges in history? (64 comments)

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  •  Ethics and morality... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mogolori, terabytes

    ...is not what you're legally obligated to do.  It's doing what you should be doing.

    In addition, given that Apple is one of the companies that has publicly groused about the US corporate tax rate, it rings a little hollow to then watch them then dodge taxation this country needs.

    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. -- Clarke's Third Law

    by The Technomancer on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 11:14:18 AM PDT

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    •  That's just silly. Absurd. (9+ / 0-)

      It's ridiculous to say that ANY taxpayer should pay more in taxes than they legally are obligated to pay.   Nobody "should" pay more in taxes than the law says they have to.  Not you, not me, not the neighborhood bar, not Apple.  

      Tax law is not about paying some amount that somebody else thinks is "moral" or "ethical."  You, or I, don't get to decide how much somebody else "should" pay if they want to be "moral" or "ethical."  Paying taxes is about complying with the law, nothing more and nothing less. There's nothing "immoral" or "unethical" about paying what the law says you have to pay.  And there's nothing "immoral" or "unethical" about taking a deduction that the law says you are entitled to take.  

      In fact, if anything, it would be unethical for the officers of Apple to have the company pay more in taxes than they legally owe.  After all, they have a fiduciary duty to the owners of that company -- the shareholders -- to maximize the return on shareholder investment.  Any officer of a company who said, well, we can legally structure our business according to method "A," but if we do method "B," we'll owe billions more in taxes, so let's do method "B" -- that officer would be violating his/her fiduciary duty to the shareholders.  That's not only unethical, he/she can get sued for that.  

      •  Fiduciary duty to shareholders (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sturunner

        is not at the top of the morality pyramid.  At least not as expounded in the religious and non-religious ethical arguments I'm familiar with.

        "And now we know that government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob." -- FDR

        by Mogolori on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 11:38:22 AM PDT

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        •  Taxes have nothing to do with morality. (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cfm, johnny wurster, erush1345, VClib, nextstep

          Taxes are all about legality -- nothing more.  

          Technomancer said "moral" and "ethical."  "Morality" plays no role in taxes, unless you violate the law. Then, violating the law is "immoral."  As for ethics, there's nothing unethical about paying the least amount of taxes you are legally obligated to pay.  In fact, it's probably unethical -- i.e., a violation of your fiduciary duty to shareholders -- to pay MORE in taxes than the company legally owes.

        •  Mogolori - but it is at the top of the fiduciary (0+ / 0-)

          duty pyramid to the owners of the business, the shareholders. The officers and directors of Apple have a duty to minimize the payment of taxes worldwide. It the officers and directors of Apple are not committed to that goal they will resign or be terminated.

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 08:59:38 PM PDT

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      •  Get real, coffeetalk! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        terabytes, sturunner

        Who wrote the tax rules with all these exploitable, corporate loopholes??? Oh, right, the congress critters that are bought lock, stock and barrel with corporate money.

        What about the climate cliff?

        by wayoutinthestix on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 07:09:54 PM PDT

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    •  As an Apple shareholder, I think Apple should be (0+ / 0-)

      increasing its dividend and supporting its stock. I would argue that this is at least as much a societal good as giving extra dough to a government that spends upwards of a trillion dollars on war, spying and imprisoning people without trial. When the government gets its house in order on that front, maybe helping it out with laudable donations would be apropos. Until then...

      For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

      by Anne Elk on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 01:07:41 PM PDT

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      •  I don't understand this argument. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sturunner

        Because it's legal (and because it benefits you directly as a shareholder), it's cool if Apple dodges the Tax Man.  It's a societal good for Apple to not pay its fair share of taxes.  But because the US government doesn't spend 100% of the revenue it brings in in the wisest manner -- never mind that the manner is completely OK under the law, which is the same standard you hold Apple to -- it doesn't deserve to be funded.  Heck, you also referred to taxes as "laudable donations".

        Why the double standard?

        Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. -- Clarke's Third Law

        by The Technomancer on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 01:16:59 PM PDT

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        •  Double standards is what you subscribe to, (0+ / 0-)

          not me. You don't like Corporations very much; that's pretty clear. And you don't like it when a public Company deftly avoids paying more tax than is required. The US government isn't "unwise"; it's pretty much a force for evil. It's pretty corrupt. It doesn't spend money for the good of the people. So I would rather not feed a monster like that. The government, if it merely stopped pouring money into the pockets of defense contractors, agribusiness, and hedge fund managers, would easily have enough money to fund its operations. So I have to wonder: why the double standard? Why is the problem not a voracious and corrupt government rather than a publicly traded Company trying to serve the interests of its shareholders who after all a just ordinary people like myself?

          For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

          by Anne Elk on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 01:25:14 PM PDT

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          •  I don't have a problem with corporations. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sturunner

            I get paid a comfortable salary by one.  I've worked for quite a few in my career.  I plan to start my own someday.  I don't plan on setting up a Double Irish, nor will I be fearful of having shareholders sue me because I didn't.  I even work in the tech industry, which is where a large numbers of tax dodges like this occur.

            I pay my fair share in taxes.  Corporations should as well.

            Like you, I don't agree with how the government spends every single dollar it receives.  But you're making the argument that because it's not 100% perfect, that it shouldn't get funded at all.  I'm not the one that's stated that what Apple has done is A-OK because it is legal.  I've never stated that I'm in favor of legal abuses of rights like our government has done.

            You, however, are in favor of one entity doing something immoral under the law (likely because you personally benefit from it), and against another entity doing things that are legal under the same set of laws.

            Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. -- Clarke's Third Law

            by The Technomancer on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 01:36:57 PM PDT

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    •  The Tech - there is no what you should be doing (0+ / 0-)

      unless it is that Apple should be paying the lowest possible amount of taxes on a worldwide basis. That is what the officers and directors of Apple are legally obligated to do.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 09:01:30 PM PDT

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