People pay taxes because the alternative is ultimately death. Yes, the State will go so far as to murder you if you don’t fork over the “protection” money it demands. The threat of death convinces most people to pay their taxes. Furthermore, as if hoping to curry favor with the State, many people perform a great deal of virtue signaling by proclaiming how much they enjoy paying taxes. But obeying the State’s
expropriation tax laws and virtue signaling won’t save you. Even if you obey and pay the State will try to steal more of your wealth if it thinks it can get away with it:
Over the years, we received guidance from Irish tax authorities on how to comply correctly with Irish tax law — the same kind of guidance available to any company doing business there. In Ireland and in every country where we operate, Apple follows the law and we pay all the taxes we owe.
The European Commission has launched an effort to rewrite Apple’s history in Europe, ignore Ireland’s tax laws and upend the international tax system in the process. The opinion issued on August 30th alleges that Ireland gave Apple a special deal on our taxes. This claim has no basis in fact or in law. We never asked for, nor did we receive, any special deals. We now find ourselves in the unusual position of being ordered to retroactively pay additional taxes to a government that says we don’t owe them any more than we’ve already paid.
Apple has a massive team of lawyers whose job is to ensure it complies with the laws of the regions it operates in so it can avoid the State’s wrath. The European Union decided that this dedication to obedience wasn’t enough and chose to demand billions of dollars more from the largest tax victim in its territory. In the eyes of the European Union Apple and every other organization and individual are little more than giant Automated Teller Machines. When it decides it wants more cash it claims the wealthy didn’t pay enough taxes and demands they either pay more or else.
This should be a lesson to all the people hoping to avoid the State’s wrath by publicly proclaiming how much they enjoy paying taxes. Apple has a long history of touting its efforts to be a “responsible citizen”, which includes publicly stating its desire to pay its “fair share”. But the European Union still went after Apple for more. Don’t fool yourself into believing the State will let you live your life so long as you kowtow to it.