It's no secret that Apple has been taking advantage of a lucrative system that lets it avoid paying a significant amount of tax, all thanks to Ireland. Tim Cook might have called the EU's decision to claim Apple's back tax "maddening" and "political crap", but after a meeting with French president Emmanuel Macron, it sounds like he's changing his tune a bit.
Apple's European headquarters are in Ireland, and has argued that all sales made within Europe should be taxed there, instead of the host country. Essentially meaning that the company is deliberately funnelling money through Ireland, which has been accused of illegally offering Apple a deal that sees it pay lower taxes. The country already has a low corporation tax rate, but reports claim Apple only had to pay 2.5 per cent.
Cook's meeting with Macron apparently didn't bring up the topic of past tax, but reports indicate that the French president argues that money generated from sales should be taxed in the country they were made. According to Bloomberg Cook accepted that global laws were changing, with a shift that will see companies pay taxes where money is earned - not wherever they decide to base their HQ.
It's not likely to change the fact Apple is appealing against the EU's back tax ruling, but it definitely sounds like Cook won't be taking as hard a stance against paying local taxes.
Good. Now if we could just get the politicians to stop letting money get funnelled out of the country as part of elaborate corporate tax avoidance schemes, that'd be great. It may seem unethical for a company to avoid paying taxes, but if it's legal there's no way in hell that they won't try. [Bloomberg via 9to5Mac]