“Apple chief executive Tim Cook has angrily dismissed Brussels’ tax accusations as ‘political crap,’ suggesting that Ireland is being ‘picked on’ and is a pawn in a wider European Commission agenda to harmonise taxes across the EU,” Adrian Weckler and Michael Cogley report for The Independent.
“He said he would ‘love’ to see the Government launch an appeal against the ruling. ‘I think we’ll work very closely together, as we have the same motivation. No one did anything wrong here and we need to stand together. Ireland is being picked on and this is unacceptable,'” Weckler and Cogley report. “Mr Cook strongly rejected the assertion by European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager that Apple paid just 0.005pc tax in Ireland in 2014. ‘It’s total political crap,’ he said. ‘They just picked a number from I don’t know where. In the year that the Commission says we paid that tax figure, we actually paid $400m. We believe that makes us the highest taxpayer in Ireland that year.'”
“Mr Cook said that Apple and Ireland had ‘played by the rules’ and would win the case on appeal. In the meantime, he said that the EU’s tax ruling is set to cause serious trade and the US,” Weckler and Cogley report. “‘This is a huge overreach that represents retrospective activity and is completely unfair,’ he said… ‘This conclusion that the Commission has reached has no basis in law or in fact. So I think it clearly suggests that this is politics at play.'”
I think that Apple was targeted here. And I think that (anti-US sentiment) is one reason why we could have been targeted. People in leadership positions in several countries tell me that this is the agenda. I don’t know where that comes from. But what I feel strongly about is that this decision was politically based, of that I’m very confident. There is no reason for it in fact or in law… At a worldwide level, Apple pays income tax of 26.1 percent… I’d be the first to say that the tax system needs to be reformed and that it should be made simple and straightforward. But it should be talked about going forward, not in a way that retrofits the law to what others wish it was. It’s patently unfair and not what you expect from a developed country that has a history of rule and law. — Apple CEO Tim Cook
Much more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: That about sums it up.
It’s a no-brainer for Ireland to join Apple in the appeal.
By policy recommendation, any clawbacks should go directly to pay off Ireland’s debt. Apple’s €13 billion would be a drop in the ocean of roughly €200 billion debt. The idea of pissing off one of your best and growing employers while conceding to be led around by the nose by a feckless Brussels kleptocracy in exchange for a meaningless drop in the ocean isn’t smart, it’s stupid.
Apple is currently Ireland’s 34th largest employer. How much tax revenue (income and health (USC), capital gains, sales, property, vehicle registration, plastic bag, etc., etc., etc.) and economic activity (sales of gas, housing, utilities, investment, food, BEER, etc.) do Apple’s upwards of 6,000 employees generate for Ireland annually?
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U.S. Treasury: The European Commission’s retroactive tax demands on Apple are unfair – August 30, 2016
EU demands Apple pay massive $14.5 billion in taxes plus interest – August 30, 2016
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
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