Apple must repay record 13 bln euros over Irish tax deal: EU
BRUSSELS - Agence France-Presse
REUTERS photoThe European Union on Aug. 30 said U.S. tech giant Apple must repay a record 13 billion euros ($14.3 billion) in back taxes after ruling that a series of Irish sweetheart tax deals were illegal.
“The European Commission has concluded that Ireland granted undue tax benefits of up to 13 billion euros to Apple. This is illegal under EU state aid rules because it allowed Apple to pay substantially less tax than other businesses. Ireland must now recover the illegal aid,” a Commission statement said.
EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said Apple’s “selective treatment” in Ireland meant it paid an effective tax rate of just one percent on its European profits in 2003, which then fell to a bare 0.005 percent by 2014.
“The tax treatment in Ireland enabled Apple to avoid taxation on almost all profits generated by sales of Apple products in the entire EU single market.”
Brussels launched an inquiry into Apple’s tax arrangements in Ireland in 2014, one of a series of anti-trust cases targeting major U.S. corporations that have angered Washington.
Ireland is preparing to appeal against the ruling, the government said.
“The minister for finance will now seek cabinet approval to appeal the Commission decision to the European Courts,” it said in a statement.
Apple also vowed to appeal the EU ruling, saying the decision would harm jobs and investment in Europe.
The U.S. Treasury Department slammed the EU ruling, saying the decision threatened the bilateral “spirit of economic partnership.”