(apologies for the Note 7 joke, it was purely pun-intentional)
As if the free roaming in the EU next year wasn’t big enough news, Brussels just dropped another bombshell –
Margrethe Vestager, EU anti-trust Commissioner, was in Washington earlier this week to discuss the repercussions of the $14.5 Billion tax bill levied on Apple. You see, the U.S. Treasury Department is more concerned with protecting large multinationals who dodge taxes rather than collecting whatever taxes are due. They viewed the EU decision as their acting like a “supranational tax authority”. Undaunted Ms. Vestager stated, “These are profits generated in Europe, and also I think (should) be taxed in Europe.” So if you take that to it’s natural conclusion, recent estimates put the profits earned in the EU by foreign companies at $2.4 TRILLION!
This has caught the attention of the Business Roundtable, a collection of 185 CEOs of the largest corporations. They have written the leaders of every EU country pleading with them to try and overturn the Apple ruling. Now it seems the battle has been taken to Twitter-
Just to be clear it is not just U.S. companies that are being targeted, there are companies based all over the globe. The interesting point is that 49% of the companies fall into just #2 categories – information tech and healthcare with the top 4 companies being Apple, Pfizer, Microsoft, and GE.
It will be interesting to see the outcome of all this wrangling and what taxes are due, but don’t hold your breath as we are dealing with Countries, corporations, international law, and lawyers in this high stakes chess match.