Tomorrow, Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan will file an appeal against Apple’s $14.4 billion tax bill in European court. But Ireland isn’t fighting to get back what it’s owed; rather, it’s contesting a recent EU ruling on behalf of Apple, saying that the company shouldn’t have to pay Ireland the equivalent of about $3,000 per person.
The United States House of Representatives approved the Wireless Tax Fairness Act on Tuesday, an initiative that prevents new local and state taxes on wireless bills for the next five years. “We need to encourage the development and adoption of wireless broadband, not tax it out of existence,” Representative Zoe Lofgren said. The average tax rate on goods and services in the United States is 7.4% but consumers with wireless contracts pay an average of 16.4% in taxes and fees, WirelessWeek said. “The exorbitant discriminatory taxes on wireless customers are not only unfair, they are counterintuitive, adding another costly impediment to the success of so many American businesses who are struggling in the midst of a prolonged recession,” Representative Trent Franks argued. Read on for more. More →
Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Ltd.-owned Foxconn is considering spending up to $12 billion on new facilities in Brazil that would help the electronics manufacturer’s clients avoid high import taxes on devices shipped to key markets from China and Taiwan. The move would also potentially help the manufacturer avoid some of its rising labor costs in China. The Brazilian government says it is currently studying Foxconn’s plans, and the country’s President Dilma Rousseff is overseas discussing this and other matters with Chinese President Hu Jintao. “You’ve got an ample range of investments that go from $300 to $400 million to $12 billion over 5 to 6 years in the case of Foxconn,” Rousseff told Reuters. “They’re proposing a partnership. They came to us and said we want to invest in Brazil.” Foxconn could start building devices like Apple’s iPad in Brazil by the end of November according to Aloizio Mercadente, Brazil’s science and technology minister. More →
The Rockefeller Institute, a research group tied to SUNY, said that sales taxes took a 6.1 percent dive in Q4 of 2008 and Q1 of this year was even worse. Given the current state of the economy of course, this is hardly a surprise. Beyond the obvious reasoning behind the decline — people are losing jobs, making less money and spending less money — the drop may be bad news on another front as it could finally spell the end for the free rides afforded by online shopping. The idea of requiring online retailers to collect sales tax on out-of-state sales has been tossed around over and over again but according to the New York Post, this time around it might just stick. A bill is expected to go before congress as soon as this week that would require online retailers such as Amazon and Overstock, and even the online auction house eBay to collect sales tax on behalf of the state to which items are delivered. This spells certain aggravation for consumers who enjoy saving cash by ordering online and even more so for Internet retailers who will have to implement the new policy.
In New York State where an online sales tax bill was passed last Summer, Web retailers are already in the midst of fighting the new policy. New York’s law now requires any online retailer that advertises on New York-based web sites to collect sales tax when shipping to New York. Amazon and Overstock have both pulled all advertising from websites based in New York in protest.
Five parcels of Johnson County, Kansas land, belonging to none other than Sprint, have unpaid property taxes this year. Sprint is delinquent to the county to the tune of $18,216.54. If you notice a sudden drop in Dorothy and Toto’s readin’, writin’, and ‘rithmetic scores, you’ll know who is responsible. According to Sprint, the mistake is due to an oversight by their unnamed property-tax-paying department. Sprint continues to be committed to education, which is why they ensure that there is no signal anywhere near a school – so those young ne’er-do-wells can’t text in class. Wait, that’s just poor coverage.