Ireland’s cabinet says it will move forward with its appeal of the European Commission’s ruling to recoup $14.5 billion in unpaid taxes that Apple allegedly owes.
As PYMNTS has reported, the Commission alleges that the Irish government offered Apple a deal to pay from almost zero to around 1 percent tax on its European profits.
Earlier this week, Apple CEO Tim Cook released scathing letter aimed at the Commission, saying “The commission’s move is unprecedented, and it has serious, wide-reaching implications.” He stands with Ireland on the appeal and says Apple will file one of its own as well. Cook has also said he is “very confident” the ruling would be overturned, while telling media outlets that the decision is “maddening” and “political”.
Because Apple is a California-based company, the U.S. government has also reared its horns accusing the EU of overstepping, and taking something that does not belong to them. Treasury secretary Jack Lew recently sent a letter to Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker stating that the Commission is “targeting US companies disproportionately.”
“The commission’s actions could threaten to undermine foreign investment, the business climate in Europe, and the important spirit of economic partnership between the U.S. and the EU,” the U.S. Treasury Department said in a statement.
This weekend in China, President Barack Obama is expected to address the issue of tax avoidance by multinational corporations at a summit for the G20 leading economies.
Certainly the lump sum of $14.5 billion in tax revenue is tempting for many Irish citizens, some even urging their country to take the deal rather than appeal the decision. Protesters have already come out against the appeal, citing that the money is equivalent to Ireland’s entire healthcare budget.
European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager has rejected Cook’s claims, saying there is no political agenda. She underscored that the decision was based on facts and how profits were recorded.