John P. Warner, shareholder in Buchanan’s Tax section, was quoted in a Bloomberg BNA Tax Report titled, “EU Apple Tax Decision Ducks Arm’s-Length Controversy” which focuses on the European Commission’s decision to make Apple accountable for their $14.5 billion in unpaid taxes, but refuses the “arm-length principle.”
“It is difficult to read into why the Commission in its 2014 preliminary findings focused on the arm's length principle, but did not do so in the August 30 decision,” said John Warner, a shareholder specializing in international tax and financial instruments at Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC, in an e-mail to Bloomberg BNA.
The problem the commission addressed in its Aug. 30 decision was that, although Apple's Irish subsidiaries may have booked an arm's-length price with respect to their EU sales, the Irish tax authorities permitted those subsidiaries internally to allocate a substantial amount of those profits to “head offices” not subject to tax anywhere and whose profits weren't subject to Irish company tax under a territorial aspect of Ireland's company tax regime, Warner said.
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