Tim Cook is visiting Europe, specifically he has traveled to Ireland to collect an award given to the company for his 40 work apps in the country. Ireland has since been a pillar for Apple in Europe, although in recent years this relationship has been a problem for both.
In 2016, the European Commission discovered that Apple received illegal state aid from Ireland and forced the company to pay 13 billion euros in back taxes. Apple and Ireland appealed the commission's ruling and they are still waiting for the final resolution of the European courts. Precisely for that reason, Cook has lost today a global tax reform for companies that "truly fair."
Tax reform in Europe is necessary
European laws allow you to declare part of your income in a single country, so most multinational companies they choose passes like Ireland with a very low tax rate. However, the growth of companies such as Apple or Google forced the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to carry out global reforms on where multinational companies should be taxed.
"It is very complex to know how to tax a multinational company, we desperately want it to be fair. I think, of course, everyone knows that it is necessary to re-analyze it, it will certainly be the last person to say that the current system or the past system was a perfect system. I have hope and optimism that they (the OECD) will find the solution"
Celebrating 40 years of Apple in Ireland with our remarkable and growing team at Hollyhill! Your hard work and dedication to our customers and the communities we serve reflects the best of what we stand for. Heres to the next 40! pic.twitter.com/ADiRz3yoOP
– Tim Cook (@tim_cook) January 20, 2020
In addition to this request, Tim has also talked about privacy. Apple's chief executive also said that it was needed more regulation in the area of privacy and it must go beyond the privacy laws of the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of 2018.
"I think more regulation is needed in this area, it is probably strange that a business person is talking about regulation, but it has become clear that companies will not self-monitor on privacy issues. We were one of the first to support the GDPR, we believe that in general it is extremely good, not only for Europe. We believe it is necessary but not sufficient. It has to go further and that is necessary for privacy to return to where it should be".
Tax reform in Europe is a real problem that many countries are willing to tackle on their own with a direct tax on these companies, however the best will be a law at European level That will solve these problems.