Apple: European Commission made ‘fundamental errors,’ tried to ‘redesign Ireland’s corporate tax system’

“Apple has alleged that the European Commission made ‘fundamental errors’ as it ruled last year that the iPhone maker owed the Republic €13 billion in unpaid taxes, plus interest,” Joe Brennan reports for The Irish Times. “The US technology giant, which appealed the commission’s decision on December 19th, has relied on 14 pleas in law to support its action, according to an outline of its application, published in the Official Journal of the European Union on Monday.”

Brennan reports, “‘The Commission made fundamental errors by failing to recognise that the applicants’ profit-driving activities, in particular the development and commercialisation of the intellectual property (Apple IP), were controlled and managed in the United States,’ Apple said, according to the Official Journal. ‘The profits from those activities are attributable to the United States, not Ireland.'”

“Apple said that the commission ‘failed to recognise that the Irish branches carried out only routine functions and were not involved in the development and commercialisation of Apple IP, which drove profits,'” Brennan reports. “The Californian group also claims that the commission failed to conduct a diligent and impartial investigation, while it ‘exceeded its competence’ under the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union by ‘attempting to redesign Ireland’s corporate tax system.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Since EC Commish Margrethe Vestager is an incompetent politician, it follows that the EC “exceeded its competence.”

Margrethe Vestager is a fool who’s in way over her head.MacDailyNews, September 1, 2016

Anyone who decides to set up a business in a European Union member country today is insane.MacDailyNews, August 30, 2016

EU’s hypocritical Margrethe Vestager going after Apple while backing Madeira tax avoidance scheme – February 14, 2017
Apple has missed the deadline to pay $13.9 billion to Ireland in illegal tax benefits – January 31, 2017
Apple CFO Maestri: What the EC is doing here is a disgrace for European citizens, it should be ashamed’ – December 19, 2016
Apple’s EU tax nemesis Margrethe Vestager takes aim at other U.S. companies’ offshore profits – September 19, 2016
The ‘Brexit-Apple’ connection: What in the world was Margrethe Vestager thinking? – September 12, 2016
EU ministers line up to take tax bites out of Apple – September 12, 2016
Former EU competition commissioner: Vestager claim that Apple owes back taxes an incorrect use of EU law – September 2, 2016
Irish government to fight EU on Apple tax – September 2, 2016
Treasury accuses EU of trying to steal U.S. tax revenues with Apple decision – September 1, 2016
Irish residents opposed to EU’s tax demand of Apple – September 1, 2016
Apple Inc. pushes back against EU tax grab – September 1, 2016
Apple may repatriate billions of dollars next year after new U.S. President takes office – September 1, 2016
U.S. tax code allows for dramatic retaliation against EU overreach in Apple case – September 1, 2016
Apple CEO Tim Cook on EU tax demand: ‘No one did anything wrong here and Ireland is being picked on… It is total political crap’ – September 1, 2016
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
U.S. government warns EU: Do not hit Apple with a massive back tax bill – or else – August 25, 2016


  1. If you Euros have such a problem with American companies, then why don’t you ditch Apple and use your own Euro made phones? Yeah, and Alcatel Android dumbphone is the height of European tech! Please, show some respect to the country that gave you some of the best phones and computers ever made.

    1. Apple is going to get nailed in this. So if Ireland is just a mundane part of their operations and the profit belongs to the US, then why has so much cash bedn funnelled through this offshore entity?

      Simple: it’s a tax haven scheme.

  2. I would never touch anything made by those evil Europeans. Their ancestors came to the American continent and stole the land of the Natives. I like Apple, but if they had a conscience they would move to Canada so as to not indirectly support the European style white supremacist fascist government we are about to have. I swear if Blackberry was still around, I’d use their devices because at least Canada is giving their First Nations the respect they deserve. The USA doesn’t care at all about their minorities.

  3. As often as Apple plans to play nice, in this case they didn’t. And to top it, they create “fake news” to cover up their fraudulent action.
    The EU didn’t impose any taxes on apple or got things wrong. The EU doesn’t even regulate any taxes or tax-levels on national level. The only thing which is regulated is, that a set tax by any country is paid by all companies dealing in the same market in this country. The same for everyone to stop unfair subsidies.
    Apple filed tax-statements for all their European earnings in Ireland where there is a 10% corporate tax (already on of the lowest corporate taxes in the EU). By closing some secret deals with the government they paid at the end 0,0005% (€ 5 tax per € 1.000.000 profit). And this for almost 10 years.
    Some people in the US call this smart; we, in Europe call it illegal!
    Now, to all of you who think that apple is treated in an unfair manner: Would you like European companies doing business in the US not paying their taxes und contributing their fair share to your state’s revenue.
    And just to make it clear: If all other tech-companies competing with Apple who did business in Ireland had to pay the same (low) tax nobody would have started to argue with Apple. Maybe with Ireland about their ridiculously low taxes, but not with Apple.

  4. To spice it up with more figures. We talk about € 13 Billion on taxes which were not paid. This translates into more than € 130 Billion on profits in Europe by selling their products to European customers. The EU isn’t trying to impose taxes an profits earned in the US, Japan, China or any other country nor region. They are just looking into unfair business practices in their own market.
    These € 13 Billion can be used unfairly against Apple’s competitors using it for extra R&D, marketing, advertisements etc. Others like Samsung, HTC, Sony and the like had to pay 10% corporate tax and didn’t get any tax exemptions.

  5. Fitting that Apple is investing heavily in Brexit Britain at the refurbished Battersea Power Station campus. Why would you do anything with the EU? Awful organisation.

  6. “The Commission made fundamental errors by failing to recognise that the applicants’ profit-driving activities, in particular the development and commercialisation of the intellectual property (Apple IP), were controlled and managed in the United States,’ Apple said, according to the Official Journal. ‘The profits from those activities are attributable to the United States, not Ireland.”

    So is this Apple admitting that those taxes ought to be paid in the US?

    1. It’s kind of funny that Apple is arguing in the US that they licensed their product to their Irish subsidiary and that therefore the profits must be taxed in Europe. Not in the US and definitely not with 35% corporate tax.
      Now their argument in Europe goes – for the same profit – that these are no profits in Europe because these are based on intellectual property, managed in the US.
      What is the truth? One can’t have both and not paying any taxes in any country.
      By the way: If Apple would have claimed their profits based on intellectual property rights for their US tax declaration they wouldn’t have to pay the taxes in Europe. But 0,0005% seemed at the time certainly better than 35%. And still they themselves declared € 130 Billion of profit in Europe not anyone else.

      1. …and the tax rate you quote – the 0.0005% – is BS. The tax rate is the correct Irish tax rate based on the amount of intellectual property / effort attributable to the EU. The rest of the monies are taxable in the USA.

    2. Yes, it’s exactly Apple admitting that taxes on that money should be paid to the US. As soon as the money is repatriated to the USA, it will be taxable according to US law. If the monies were attributable to fruits of EU labor, they’d be taxable there; but Apple declared that the money is properly due to Apple in the USA. Thus, when the money comes into the USA, it’s taxable according to US law.

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