G-8 Leaders: Apple, Others Should Feel Bad About Minimizing Tax Burdens

Credit: U.S. Embassy in the U.K.Credit: U.S. Embassy in the U.K.

World leaders of the wealthiest countries at the G-8 summit in Northern Ireland have new ideas to stop the flow of corporate profits toward business-friendly countries.

World leaders at the G-8 summit have declared that governments must work together to close loopholes that allow multinational companies to avoid paying taxes in their home countries.

Their collective statements on tax issues have focused on evasion, which is illegal in the United States, but the above statement and others have also attacked the practice of tax avoidance, which uses tax laws to minimize companies' tax burdens and is legal. 

The G8 called on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which advises rich nations on economic policies, to develop a template under which multinational corporations could be required to report profits and tax payments on a country-by-country basis, to tax authorities.

Tax campaigners had called for published country-by-country reporting to help shame companies into paying their fair share of taxes.

The G8 also said countries should change rules that let companies shift their profits across borders to avoid taxes.

The leaders of the world's wealthiest countries want to make successful private businesses feel bad about not paying more in taxes. Canada was reportedly the only holdout in opposing the initiative.

“We did not expect to see Canada as a holdout,” said Richard Murphy of the Tax Justice Network. He said he believes Canada is being difficult for philosophical reasons, believing that competitive tax systems are important drivers of investment.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper chose not to embrace his country's free-market renaissance, but said instead that action would require the consultation of his country's provinces (still—when was the last time we've heard that on this side of the border?)

The new initiative against tax-dodging was foreshadowed in May when the U.S. Senate hauled Apple CEO Tim Cook into a hearing on the company's offshore profits in relation to its Irish holdings. Check Reason's coverage of the hearing here, what Katherine Mangu-Ward thinks of The New York Times' questionable comparison to the IRS scandal, and read J.D. Tuccille's piece on what to expect when tax collectors comefor all of us.

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  • ||

    Are these people really this stupid?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Your money, you didn't earn that. Hand it over.

  • ||

    I'm serious. Are they really this stupid or is this all some elaborate Kafka-esque show they put on for the masses?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Look, they crave our money to give to their supporters. They will try anything to get it, including giving it away before they get it. Then they'll scream about austerity which means that they don't have enough to hand out to buy votes.

    Intelligence and logic's got nothin' to do with it.

  • ¿Ex Nihilo?||

    logic's got nothin' to do with it.

    Actually by their logic, it makes perfect sense. Have you read The Dictator's Handbook? Very informative.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I meant human logic.

  • Sevo||

    "Are these people really this stupid?"

    Not sure, but they sure hope their audience is.

  • Killazontherun||

    An outbreak of legionella pneumophila could not possibly come at a better moment or locale.

  • DaveAnthony||

    This all feels like the scene in Office Space where Jennifer Anniston's boss asks her why she is only wearing the bare minimum pieces of flare.

    "You do want to express yourself, right?"

  • some guy||

    "And how much is their fair share?"

    "More."

  • A Serious Man||

    And when you ask them how much should we give? Ooh, they only answer More! More! More!

  • some guy||

    It aint' me. It ain't me. I ain't no millionaire's son. And yet they still want more from me.

  • sarcasmic||

    These rich corporations haven't paid their fair share. How do we know this? They're rich! How can they have paid their fair share and still be rich?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Entities engaging it tax planning? Tax laws should not be so transparent that people can work around them to keep more of the government's money.

  • some guy||

    We should just give them all our money and trust them to do the calculation for us.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    He said he believes Canada is being difficult for philosophical reasons, believing that competitive tax systems are important drivers of investment.

    And Canada is correct. Man, that almost hurts to say that.

  • sarcasmic||

    aye

  • some guy||

    Stiff sanctions will be levied on Canada in 3, ... 2, ...

  • RBS||

    The Tax Justice Network (TJN) promotes tax justice and tax cooperation and resists tax avoidance, tax evasion and tax competition. It operates on a not-for-profit basis by bringing together organisations, social movements and individuals working towards these goals. In an era of globalisation, the Tax Justice Network is committed to a socially just, democratic and progressive system of taxation. TJN promotes a tax system which is favourable for poor people in developing and developed countries, and finances public goods and taxes harmful activities which pollute and cause unacceptable inequality. Our objectives and demands are detailed in the TJN declaration.
  • A Serious Man||

    . TJN promotes a tax system which is favourable for poor people in developing and developed countries, and finances public goods and taxes harmful activities which pollute and cause unacceptable inequality.

    You can't make this shit up. Yeah, we support poor people by advocating an international tax system that penalizes companies for doing business in poor countries and lifting people out of poverty!

  • ||

    Nothing is more evil and harmful than do-gooders.

  • Killazontherun||

    We are like the same brain in two seperate spatial locations some days.

  • ||

    Yeah, but I'm prettier.

  • Killazontherun||

    I thought I was the prettier one.

    Mirrors are not prone to lying but I guess its possible.

  • ||

    Sure, compared to ProL or NutraSweet you might be prettier. They look like feet. But not compared to me.

  • Killazontherun||

    I am more of a Mack than a Dennis, so that's does make sense. Plus, you still have all of your teeth. I went cheap and went to crack as a coke substitute. Big mistake.

  • ||

    Big mistake.

    "Hi, um, I'm a recovering crackhead. This is my retarded sister that I take care of. I'd like some welfare, please."

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    I'm more of a tall Frank.

  • Ted S.||

    That's not saying much.

  • sarcasmic||

    Nothing is more evil than seeking profits through voluntary transactions. I mean... profits!

    Forcing people to pay for things that they don't want or need? Now there's altruism.

    /Tony

  • RBS||

    The Declaration really starts off with a bang.

  • sarcasmic||

    Apparently these people do not understand that corporations do not pay taxes. The taxes are a business expense that is incorporated into the price of the goods and services they sell to people. Forcing them to pay more taxes will only force them to raise prices..... Market failure!

  • ¿Ex Nihilo?||

    so that large corporations and wealthy individuals pay tax in line with their ability to do so.

    Now, that's tax justice.

  • sarcasmic||

    From each according to ability...

  • Killazontherun||

    In other words, the most harmful agenda to the wealth, prosperity and general welfare of all of humanity ever conceived.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Oh, and while I am here -

    Fuck off, G8 slavers.

  • Pro Libertate||

    "No, fuck you, cut spending."

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Even better - nicely done.

  • Pro Libertate||

    It's a moral imperative.

  • West Texas||

    WOW! There's a "Tax Justice Network"? Fuckin' A... SIGN ME UP! Finally someone gets it about how just plain wrong income taxes are. There's nothing just about income taxes. Income taxes are the root of all ev-

    Wait, what?

    Aww fuck. Seriously?

    Nevermind.

  • Drake||

    You forgot to translate it from liberal-speak. Up = down.

  • West Texas||

    Indeed, it's about as good an example of real world Orwellianism as I've ever seen. Income tax is just about the most unjust system ever devised by man.

  • sarcasmic||

    If you define justice to be being free from the initiation of force and fraud against your life, liberty or property, you could define liberalism as organized injustice.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    "Wait- you mean those kkkorporate plunderers read the laws we pass, and tailor their behavior to 'comply' with them? That's just not right."

  • ||

    And if Steve Jobs was still alive, Apple would still be the darling of the left wing establishment. Like Buffet, Jobs knew how to play the system, as Gore's tidy little bribe stock cashout can attest.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I hope the government of the Republic of Ireland sends the employees of their taxing agency (Inland Revenue?) to the northern border, to moon the G8.

  • JD the elder||

    The G8 called on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which advises rich nations on economic policies, to develop a template under which multinational corporations could be required to report profits and tax payments on a country-by-country basis, to tax authorities.

    In a followup statement, the G8 called upon the OECD to kill that goose, because it bets then they could get all the golden eggs right now.

  • sarcasmic||

    Hey. I've got an idea. Let's see if we can figure out a way to make it even more difficult for poor people living under corrupt regimes to have even less access to goods and services provided by multinational corporations. I know! We could require the corporations to pay taxes on income derived from sales in these corrupt regimes directly to those government! This will discourage these companies from doing business in these places, and keep those poor people from having access to what they produce! Better yet, we could require the corporations to pay income taxes to the countries where these things are produced, and then they'll move the jobs out of those countries, making the poor people even poorer! World poverty for the win!

  • ||

    Given that the OECD is basically a government-funded left-wing Eurotrash think tank one has to wonder how accurate their heavily quoted stats are.

  • LynchPin1477||

    They are like rats stuck in a maze of their own creation. They've made it so complicated that they keep running into the wall. But rather than get rid of the walls and point a clear way towards the exit, they keep adding more and more turns until the entire thing turns into a closed loop. Then they just keep making left (or right) turns and wonder why they don't get anywhere.

  • Fluffy||

    The Tax Justice Network shouldn't shock anyone.

    50 years ago, they would have volunteered to man guard towers on the Berlin Wall.

    The leftists know their systems will last longer before they crash if it's impossible for productive people to escape.

    You will not be allowed to commit the crime of social desertion, and your money won't be, either.

  • CE||

    After all, taxes are the price we pay for a bloated military, the NSA, Congressional pensions, federal bureaucrats, the IRS, the DOJ and Obamacare.

  • Homple||

    So just tighten up the tax laws, including those that allow the Rockefeller, Ford, Gates, and Buffet families to shelter wealth in perpetuity while whooping for the left wing causes that want to impoverish the rest of us.

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