Apple Inc. pushes back against EU tax grab

“Tim Cook, the Apple CEO, has described as ‘wrongheaded’ and ‘maddening’ the European Commission’s finding this week that Ireland’s tax incentives to the tech giant were illegal,” Krishnadev Calamur reports for The Atlantic.

“The EC ruled Tuesday that Ireland gave Apple 13 billion euros ($14.5 billion) of illegal tax incentives, and ordered Dublin to recover that money. Both Ireland, which has made low corporate taxes a cornerstone of its financial policy, and Apple, one of hundreds of U.S. companies with operations in Ireland, have said they’ll appeal the ruling,” Calamur reports. “Cook, speaking to RTE, the Irish broadcaster, dismissed the idea the tax benefits were illegal and expressed confidence the ruling would eventually be overturned.”

“Cook also dismissed the EC’s contention that Ireland’s ‘selective treatment’ allowed Apple to pay an effective corporate tax rate of 1 per cent on its European profits in 2003 down to 0.005 per cent in 2014. ‘It’s a false number,’” he said. ‘I have no idea where the number came from. It is not true. Here is the truth. In that year, we paid $400 million to Ireland, and that amount of money was based on the statutory Irish income tax rate of 12.5 percent,'” Calamur reports. “The decision could provoke a dispute with the U.S., which has accused Brussels of unfairly targeting American companies over taxation.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The EC’s Margrethe Vestager is a fool who’s in way over her head.

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  1. “Cook affirmed that Apple is “subject to the statutory rate in Ireland of 12.5 percent,” and that the company “paid $400m in taxes in 2014.”

    So in 2014 they sold just 3.2 Billion worth of Mac/iPhone/iPad/Software etc in the EU???

    So Cook is clearly lying, but I’m more puzzled by his panicked reaction? “Southern Gentleman”? He reacts more like someone with a noose round his neck, and it makes me wonder what they are really hiding.

    Have a close look at the things missing from his statements.

    1. Wow. Amazing. You are SO privileged to know the EXACT details of Apple’s financials.

      Care to share your insights with the rest of us plebes so we can see the TRUTH of your assertions?

    2. You do realize that tax is not based on the gross income, right? There are things called deductions, for instance, for cost of goods sold, for one. Or did you think Apple has no costs in Europe?

      1. Please remember that Apple factors the cost of doing business into the higher prices they charge for their products in Europe. Every time they release a new model in the EU posters on this very site moan about that.

        There is simply no way that Apple only made $3.2bn profit across the EU that year, which had to have been the case for the $400m to be the correct figure considering they funnel virtually all of their EU profit through Ireland. 2014 was a huge year for Apple globally. They made something like $40bn in profit that year. Are you suggesting that less than 10% of that profit came from the world’s largest single market?

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