Later this week, Apple and the government of Ireland will appeal against the European Union’s $14.5 billion tax ruling targeting Apple’s sweetheart tax deal with Dublin that the EU deemed “illegal state aid.” According to Reuters today, the Cupertino firm will object to the fact that EU regulators ignored established tax experts and common corporate law.
Apple’s legal strategy involves painting itself as a victim of its own success. EU deliberately singled out Apple due to its success and picked a method to maximize the penalty, said Apple’s top lawyer Bruce Sewell.
In August, the European Commission slammed Apple with a tax bill from hell over a sweetheart deal it received from Ireland—which, in the Commission’s view, constitutes “illegal state aid”.
Dublin promptly promised to join Apple’s fight against EU and it’s put its money where its mouth is.
Michael Noonan, Finance Minister in the Irish government, said that Dublin today challenged the EU judgment by submitting an appeal to the European courts in a bid to block the decision, ArsTechnica reports.
Following news earlier this week that the European Commission had ruled that Apple must pay €13 billion ($14.5 billion) in back taxes to the government of Ireland because its sweetheart deal with Dublin that lets it be subjected to a lower tax rate constitutes “illegal state aid,” the Irish government said today it would join Apple in its fight against the ruling.
“Paradoxically, Ireland is determined not to accept the tax windfall, which would be equivalent to what it spent last year on funding its struggling health service,” says the report.
The European Commission has ruled that Apple is on the hook for €13 billion ($14.5 billion) in back taxes as its “sweetheart deal” to pay a lower tax rate in Ireland has been characterized as “illegal state aid”.
Apple is going to appeal the ruling and now CEO Tim Cook has penned an open letter, entitled “A Message to the Apple Community in Europe,” in which he explains Apple’s position in this case, writing he is “confident” that the huge tax bill will be reversed.
At a press conference Tuesday, the European Commission’s competition commissioner Margarethe Vestager announced that the European Union has ordered the government of Ireland to collect up to €13 billion, or about $14.5 billion, in back taxes from Apple. The sum represents Europe’s largest tax penalty and a significant increase over the 1 billion figure floated around ahead of the ruling.
Following months of back and forth between Apple and Ireland’s independent planning body An Bord Pleanála, plans for a massive $1 billion data center in Galway County have been approved, reports Business Insider. “Despite opposition from a number of individuals and local businesses,” Apple’s been granted the go-ahead to build the first stage of the data center on a 197-hectare site.
The facility will support Apple’s online services for customers in Europe, including the iTunes Store, App Store, iMessage, Maps and Siri.
Real-time updates about vehicular traffic on Apple Maps have expanded to include Greece, home to population of eleven million people, according to an update posted on Apple’s iOS Feature Availability webpage. The latest expansion comes hot on the heels of launching public transit directions on Maps in Prague earlier in the week.
Traffic data on Apple Maps is currently available in about three dozen countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, China, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, South Africa, Spain, Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Denmark and more.
The top court of the European Union has determined that e-books shouldn’t be treated like their printed counterparts when it comes to taxes and therefore should be subject to higher tax rates, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.
“But the European Commission signaled it may change the rules next year to allow for equal taxation of books in any form,” reads the report.
As reported by AppleInsider, Apple has raised minimum prices of iPhone and iPad applications in the App Store in Canada, the United Kingdom, Norway and in the European Union.
As a result of the changes, customers in Canada will now see a minimum app price raised from $0.99 (USD$0.83) to $1.19 (USD$1.01). In the United Kingdom, the new minimum tier has gone up from £0.69 ($1.04) to £0.79 ($1.19) and €0.99 ($1.17) in the European Union, up from €0.89 ($1.05) before.
In addition, smartphones, tablets and other gadgets Apple sells in Brazil saw their prices skyrocketing by an average of 10 percent due to the steady devaluation of the country’s currency, real.
The European Commission publicized its ruling that Apple benefited from a favorable Irish tax rate, arguing that Apple’s funneling of revenues and earnings to Ireland, where the Cupertino firm cut a favorable tax deal with the Irish government in the late 1980s and early 1990s, constitutes illegal state aid, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.
Responding to these accusations, Apple issued a written statement denying it’s received preferential treatment from the government of Ireland. Apple is urging the need for corporate tax reform, insisting its tax arrangements in Ireland are perfectly legal.