EU: Apple Must Pay 13B Euros in Taxes 08/30 06:21
BRUSSELS (AP) -- Apple will have to pay up to 13 billion euros ($14.5
billion) in back taxes, plus interest, to Ireland after the European Union
found Tuesday that it received illegal tax benefits over 11 years.
The ruling is the latest --- and biggest --- salvo in the EU executive
Commission's battle to have multinationals pay their fair share in the region.
EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said that a three-year
investigation found Ireland granted such lavish tax breaks to Apple that the
multinational's effective corporate tax rate on its European profits dropped
from 1 percent in 2003 to a mere 0.0005 percent in 2014.
That last tax rate meant that for each million euros in profits, Apple paid
just 50 euros in taxes, Vestager told a news conference.
"Member states cannot give tax benefits to selected companies_this is
illegal under EU state aid rules," Vestager said.
"Ireland must now recover the unpaid taxes in Ireland from Apple for the
years 2003 to 2014 of up to 13 billion euros ($14.5 billion), plus interest,"
the Commission said in a statement.
The Irish government denied granting favorable fiscal treatment to the maker
of the iPhone and other consumer electronics products, computer software and
online services. "Ireland's position remains that the full amount of tax was
paid in this case and no state aid was provided," the Irish statement said.
"Ireland does not do deals with taxpayers."
The Irish finance minister, Michael Noonan, said he would seek approval from
the Irish Cabinet to appeal the EU Commission's ruling to European courts.
"It is important that we send a strong message that Ireland remains an
attractive and stable location of choice for long-term substantive investment,"
Noonan said. "Apple has been in Ireland since the 1980s and employs thousands
of people in Cork."
There was no immediate reaction from Apple, headquartered in Cupertino,
California. A statement from the U.S. government was expected later Tuesday.
In a white paper made public last week, the U.S. Treasury Department accused
the European Union of using a different set of criteria to judge cases
involving American companies, calling the potential penalties "deeply