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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 
troubling."


(KA)

 
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