New in OS X: Get MacRumors Push Notifications on your Mac

Resubscribe Now Close

Apple Could Owe More Than $8 Billion in European Tax Probe

Apple-EUApple could owe more than $8 billion in back taxes if the European Commission finds issue with the iPhone maker's corporate tax policies in Ireland, according to analysis by Bloomberg Intelligence.

Apple is one of several multinational corporations that have been scrutinized for corporate tax avoidance in Europe over the past few years. The European Commission began Apple's tax probe in June 2014, and formally accused the iPhone maker of receiving illegal state aid from Ireland three months later.

The company's $64.1 billion in profit generated from 2004 to 2012 could be subject to a 12.5% tax rate, compared to its current foreign tax rate of about 1.8%, depending on the outcome of the investigation. A decision in the probe is expected in Brussels by March, possibly after the 2016 Irish election.

Bloomberg-Apple-Tax-Chart
Apple's tax breakdown in Ireland (Image: Bloomberg Intelligence)

Apple operates multiple subsidiary companies in Ireland to pay significantly less tax outside the U.S., where it earns about 55% of its revenue. Apple continues to deny any wrongdoing, and both the company and Ireland vow to take the European Commission to court over any negative verdict.

Last month, Apple agreed to pay 318 million euros in Italy to settle an investigation that accused the company of booking profits generated in Italy through an Irish subsidiary, in an effort to lower its taxable income base and save 879 million euros between 2008 and 2013. Italian regulators concluded that tax probe in March.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.



Top Rated Comments

(View all)

8 months ago
Why does anyone defend a multi-billion dollar company from paying their taxes considering how much they benefit from the rest of society?

I'll never ever understand the conservative mindset, it's rather nutty.
Rating: 65 Votes
8 months ago

Why does anyone defend a multi-billion dollar company from paying their taxes considering how much they benefit from the rest of society?

I'll never ever understand the conservative mindset, it's rather nutty.


What I'll never understand is why it is considered greedy to want to keep money that you've earned, but it's NOT considered greedy for someone to take someone else's money that the earner has earned and the taker hasn't.
Rating: 41 Votes
8 months ago

The EU should really stick to what it does well and keep its hands off countries tax policies.


No, Apple should pay fair taxes in countries where they operate, now they don't.
Rating: 40 Votes
8 months ago

The EU should really stick to what it does well and keep its hands off countries tax policies.


So the European Commission should not do its job and investigate issues in European countries? Ok..
Rating: 29 Votes
8 months ago

The EU should really stick to what it does well and keep its hands off countries tax policies.


If countries join the EU, which is a free-trade zone, the EU has an interest in establishing consistent tax policies. Due to membership in the EU, a country such as Ireland is protected from having tariffs imposed on it by other EU countries; the EU gets those regulatory rights, in return. It's only fair and reasonable. If Ireland doesn't like it, they can leave the EU.
Rating: 26 Votes
8 months ago
If they are breaking the law, make them pay. If they aren't, then fix the damn tax laws so they can bring the money home.
Rating: 24 Votes
8 months ago
They are not breaking any laws. If they are fined that will be insane. The laws need to change. Up to this point Apple has not done anything illegal. It's not the fault of business that countries tax laws are always so greedy and short sighted.

Who honestly thinks taxes are "for the people" and "for the greater good"? Governments are just as scheming and corrupt as the corporate world.
Rating: 23 Votes
8 months ago

They are using Ireland's specifically low tax rate. Ireland set itself up as a tax haven for U.S. and to a lesser extent English companies. It works well. The populace speaks English and is highly educated. They aren't on a completely different time zone like India and Australia. So many U.S. companies set up shop in Ireland to take advantage of this. Ireland likes this because of all the high paying jobs it brings into their country. That is why Ireland is helping with Apple's defense.


Having a low tax rate to encourage businesses to actually operate there (building plants or establishing engineering centers, for example) is perfectly fine. But in Ireland's case, the laws essentially allow money earned elsewhere to be passed through Ireland in order to get a lower tax rate. Structurally, it's kind of like money-laundering. It's legal under Irish law; but the contention is that it violates EU regulations that Ireland has agreed to as a condition of their EU membership. Ireland is free to leave the EU and not be subject to EU rules, if they so choose.
Rating: 17 Votes
8 months ago

Why does anyone defend a multi-billion dollar company from paying their taxes considering how much they benefit from the rest of society?

I'll never ever understand the conservative mindset, it's rather nutty.


Because they are blinded by Apples clever marketing.
Rating: 15 Votes
8 months ago

Why does anyone defend a multi-billion dollar company from paying their taxes considering how much they benefit from the rest of society?

I'll never ever understand the conservative mindset, it's rather nutty.


I am a "conservative mindset' and I don't agree with it at all. I agree with you.
Rating: 13 Votes

[ Read All Comments ]