Tim Cook Pens Open Letter on Tax Evasion Claims, Says Apple is Confident Decision 'Will be Reversed'
Cook's letter begins by discussing Apple's long history in Ireland, which dates back to a small facility that housed 60 employees in 1980. That statistic has now expanded to 6,000 employees across Ireland in total, benefiting both the company and local economies.
As it's grown, Cook says that Apple has become "the largest taxpayer in the world," and that "Apple follows the law and we pay all the taxes we owe." Directly confronting the European Commission's ruling, Cook claims that the EC has "launched an effort to rewrite Apple's history in Europe."
As responsible corporate citizens, we are also proud of our contributions to local economies across Europe, and to communities everywhere. As our business has grown over the years, we have become the largest taxpayer in Ireland, the largest taxpayer in the United States, and the largest taxpayer in the world.
Over the years, we received guidance from Irish tax authorities on how to comply correctly with Irish tax law — the same kind of guidance available to any company doing business there. In Ireland and in every country where we operate, Apple follows the law and we pay all the taxes we owe.
The Apple CEO points out that the claim -- stating Ireland gave Apple a "special deal" on its taxes -- is completely false and "has no basis in fact or in law." Cook thinks the commission's ruling also has the potential to set a dangerous precedent, because it is attempting to replace tangible Irish tax laws "with a view of what the Commission thinks the law should have been."
The opinion issued on August 30th alleges that Ireland gave Apple a special deal on our taxes. This claim has no basis in fact or in law. We never asked for, nor did we receive, any special deals. We now find ourselves in the unusual position of being ordered to retroactively pay additional taxes to a government that says we don't owe them any more than we've already paid.
Apple's next move is to appeal the Commission's ruling, which Ireland is said to be doing as well, with Cook remaining "confident" that the decision will ultimately be reversed and the company won't have to pay the 13 billion euros after all. Throughout all of the current drama and turmoil, Cook reiterates that Apple is "committed to Ireland" and that the company has no plans to stop investing in a future not only for its customers there, but its employees as well.
Read Cook's full letter about the European Commissions' ruling here.
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