“EU antitrust regulators ordered Apple on Tuesday to pay up to 13 billion euros ($14.5 billion) in taxes plus interest to the Irish government after ruling that a special scheme to route profits through Ireland was illegal state aid,” Foo Yun Chee reports for Reuters. “The massive sum, 40 times bigger than the previous known demand by the European Commission to a company in such a case, could be reduced, the EU executive said in a statement, if other countries sought more tax themselves from the U.S. tech giant.”
“‘Ireland granted illegal tax benefits to Apple, which enabled it to pay substantially less tax than other businesses over many years,’ said Competition Commission Margrethe Vestager, whose crackdown on mainly U.S. multinationals has angered Washington which accuses Brussels of protectionism,” Chee reports. “A bill of 300 million euros this year for Swedish engineer Atlas Copco AB to pay Belgian tax is the current known record. Other companies ordered to pay back taxes in Belgium, many of them European, have not disclosed figures.”
“As of June, Apple reported it had cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities of $231.5 billion, of which 92.8 percent, or $214.9 billion, were held in foreign subsidiaries. It paid $2.67 billion in taxes during its latest quarter at an effective tax rate of 25.5 percent, leaving it with net income of $7.8 billion according to company filings,” Chee reports. “The European Commission in 2014 accused Ireland of dodging international tax rules by letting Apple shelter profits worth tens of billions of dollars from tax collectors in return for maintaining jobs. Apple and Ireland rejected the accusation. ‘I disagree profoundly with the Commission,’ Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan said in a statement. ‘The decision leaves me with no choice but to seek cabinet approval to appeal. This is necessary to defend the integrity of our tax system; to provide tax certainty to business; and to challenge the encroachment of EU state aid rules into the sovereign member state competence of taxation.'”
“Apple employs 5,500, or about a quarter of its Europe-based staff, in the Irish city of Cork, where it is the largest private sector employer. It has said it paid Ireland’s 12.5 percent rate on all the income that it generates in the country,” Chee reports. “Ireland’s low corporate tax rate has been a cornerstone of economic policy for 20 years, drawing investors from multinational companies whose staff account for almost one in 10 workers in Ireland.”
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MacDailyNews Take: There were no “illegal tax benefits” granted to Apple by Ireland.
The EU is playing with fire.
Newsflash: Corporations don’t pay taxes, you do. “Corporate taxes” are simply passed along to the consumer. It’s how the government sneakily double-taxes its citizens. You’re taxed on your income and then again on what’s left via higher prices across the board. — MacDailyNews Take, December 4, 2015
There was no special deal that we cut with Ireland. We simply followed the laws in the country over the 35 years that we have been in Ireland. If the question is, was there ever a ‘quid pro quo’ that we were trying to strike with the Irish government – that was never the case. We’ve always been very transparent with the Irish government that we wanted to be a good corporate citizen. – Apple CFO Luca Maestri, September 2014
Apple CFO Maestri: Despite EU tax ruling, we will continue to invest in Ireland – August 30, 2016
Apple CEO Cook blasts European Commission for ‘ignoring Ireland’s tax laws, upending the international tax system’ – August 30, 2016
European Commission to rule Ireland’s tax arrangement with Apple illegal – August 29, 2016
Ireland prepares for a fight with EU over Apple tax clawback – August 29, 2016
U.S. government warns EU: Do not hit Apple with a massive back tax bill – or else – August 25, 2016
European Commission denies anti-U.S. bias after U.S. Treasury intervention over Apple, Amazon tax probes – August 25, 2016