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France Hits Apple With 5 Million Euro Tax Bill for 2011 iPad Sales

France Hits Apple With 5 Million Euro Tax Bill for 2011 iPad Sales

In the wake of the U.S. governments increasing interest in Apple and other large multinational corporations that “avoid” paying taxes in the United States, RudeBaguette.com reports that the French society of authors, composers, and music publishers (SACEM) is claiming that Apple owes around 5 million euros in unpaid taxes.

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RudeBaguette.com, via 9to5Mac

To give a bit of a background, the copie privée is a tax in several countries including France & Germany that is applied to all digital devices that can transfer, read, or otherwise make use of copyrighted material. The tax goes to the SACEM, which then takes the lump sum of all the taxes collected and deals them out to authors, creators, producers, actors, etc. accordingly… the problem here isn’t so much the tax, but that Apple actually charged the consumers this tax, and didn’t pay it out to the SACEM.

News reports claim that France is beginning to crack down on “tax avoidance” schemes of large firms, and has plans to force Apple, Google, and others to disclose details of their foreign business activities and tax practices.

EU Tax Commissioner Algirdas Semeta has called for an end to tax havens for large multinationals, claiming ‘loose agreements’ between companies and some EU countries “actually allow aggressive tax planners to shift their profits through EU member states to third countries and to avoid taxation in general.” No specific legislation has as of yet been proposed to prevent the practice.

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