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.
According to a 130-page judgment seen by The Financial Times, the European Commission (EC) is set to rule Tuesday against Apple’s sweetheart tax deal it struck with the government of Ireland back in 1999.
The Commission is reportedly set to demand that Ireland recoup over 1 billion euros in back taxes from the iPhone maker, or circa $1.12 billion.
“Apple will on Tuesday be hit with Europe’s largest tax penalty after Brussels ruled that the company received illegal state aid from Ireland,” warns the financial newspaper.
60 Minutes on Friday shared a one minute clip from its upcoming interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook. In the preview, Charlie Rose asks for Cook’s thoughts regarding Apple’s congressional tax hearing, which found the company to be engaged in a “sophisticated scheme” to avoid taxes on its $74 billion held overseas.
“That is total political crap,” Cook says. “There is no truth behind it. Apple pays every tax dollar we owe.” He explains that Apple does a lot of business overseas, which is why a lot of its revenues are overseas, and although the company would like to bring that cash back to the United States, it would cost 40% to do so.
The European Commission’s investigation into Ireland’s tax deals for multinational corporations could have a “material” impact on Apple, the company said in a 10Q filing to the S&E Commissions this week. If it’s determined that Dublin’s tax policies represented unfair state aid, the Cupertino firm could suffer significant losses.
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.