We are bombarded with screams that the giant tech companies just aren’t paying enough tax. This is an issue of such seriousness that we’ve got to entirely change the manner in which the economy operates in order to gain more of that lovely tax revenue.
Then we find a government that actually has the gumption, courage, to properly go after Big Tech. They manage to gird the loins sufficiently to attack. The result? They gain some trivial amount in tax.
All of which shows that tax dodging by Big Tech may well be a rather smaller problem than some indicate. For how much has France got out of Apple? 50 million a year. Hey, sure, you or I would be happy with that sum but in terms of either big, big, business or government finances it’s not even a rounding error. It’s the sort of money the French state spends on mineral water. Or in the UK, choccie biccies at meetings of civil servants. Hell, we used to spend £5 million a year just on feeding 650 MPs.
No, really, this is trivial:
Apple to pay 10 years of back taxes to France
A decade’s worth, eh? Well, yes, a decade’s worth:
Apple’s French division said it had reached a deal with France to pay an undeclared amount of back-dated tax, which French media estimated at around 500 million euros ($571 million).
The original report is here. And so that’s €50 million a year.
This isn’t the grand change that people are arguing for, is it? A righteous change in the global economic order?
France raises some €1 trillion a year in tax revenue. This argument about the tech against appears to change that by some 0.005%. So, this international tax avoidance by Big Tech. It’s somewhere between a rounding error and nothing, isn’t it?