Ireland Agrees to Appeal European Commission's Apple Tax Ruling

Ireland's coalition government has agreed to appeal the European Commission's ruling that it must collect 13 billion euros in back taxes from Apple, according to Reuters. A motion will come before the country's Parliament on Wednesday seeking an endorsement of that decision, a government spokesperson said.

It was always expected that both Apple and Ireland would appeal any adverse decision, as insisted by the country's finance minister Michael Noonan, but Ireland's cabinet members became divided on the matter following the ruling. After meeting on Friday, however, the cabinet has seemingly come together and agreed to join Apple's fight against the European Commission.

Earlier this week, the European Commission ruled that Apple received illegal state aid from Ireland, following a three-year inquiry into the company's tax arrangements in the country. The investigation's results showed that Apple allegedly paid between 0.005% and 1% in taxes in Ireland between 2003 and 2014, compared to the the country's headline 12.5% corporate tax rate.

Apple CEO Tim Cook called the findings "total political crap" and described the lower end 0.005% tax rate as a "false number." In an open letter, Cook said Apple is confident the decision "will be reversed," but the appeal process could take several years in European courts. Apple has previously said it fully complies with international tax law and is the largest taxpayer in the world.

Cook also said that Apple has "provisioned several billion dollars for the U.S. for payment," and he forecasted that it could repatriate that cash next year. Europe's competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager previously said that Apple could lower its Irish tax bill by paying appropriate taxes in other countries, or by increasing R&D payments to its U.S. operations.

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37 months ago
Apple should change its motto to:

Designed in California
Sheltered in Ireland

Rating: 31 Votes
37 months ago
This is funny now Ireland is going to appeal to change being paid 13 BILLION???? Why? Because if this stands up then other corporations will not use Ireland as a tax haven anymore and they stand to lose billions more than just 13 billion.
Rating: 16 Votes
37 months ago
The commission made a tactical error by going for it all. In a real court of law, Apple will be able to prove that they were doing business in Ireland since the 80's, conducting the same partitioning of profits and taxes for over 20 years, and all 100% within existing tax laws.

It is not their fault that 'everyone' sees an issue with them playing by other peoples rules. The EU could have dropped the number a lot and leaned on Ireland to modify it's tax code. Instead they got greedy and went after a number so large that both Apple and Ireland will stand and fight. The EU / commission will never see a fraction of this money because they are arrogant and not thinking smartly.
Rating: 14 Votes
37 months ago
Ireland should be collecting taxes on behalf of all 28 member states. All Apple profits made in France are taxed in Ireland. Other EU states already are paying Ireland more than it contributes to the Union. Can Ireland be same time under-performer in public economy to receive compensation from other states, and same time refuse to tax companies? This is a puzzle for Ireland... if they tax companies as they should, countrys economy would rise to a level, that EU wouldn't compensate any more their bad economy. But same time it wouldn't be attractive for companies who are always looking for the lowest tax rate possible.

So it is not just an illegal state aid, but Irelands feast is paid by all member states - and Ireland only benefits. And the tax avoiding companies.

This is not a matter can a sovereign country make their own tax laws... Ireland is doing it on behalf of 500 million people Union.
Rating: 12 Votes
37 months ago

Netherlands has been fairly popular, although the EU has been stretching into their sovereignty as well. They aren't based in Ireland for the weather.

Ireland has the lowest tax rate in Europe at 12.5 percent that is not about to change. What the EU and others are upset about is not the 12.5 percent tax rate. It is the additional "Shell company" Apple sales international" which has zero employees and zero assets and no tax liability in Ireland even thought it is set up in Ireland. All of the international income outside of Ireland is channeled through this company, and then to the Caribbean. This company pays no tax anywhere.
When the EU says the effective rate in Ireland is 1 percent or less they are looking at the total income going through ireland. The piece earned by the local tax paying company and the piece that no tax is pay on in the international company.
Rating: 7 Votes
36 months ago
This guy summed it up beautifully...

Rating: 4 Votes
37 months ago

Europe's competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager previously said that Apple could lower its Irish tax bill by paying appropriate taxes in other countries, or by increasing R&D payments to its U.S. operations.

Who the heck is she or her commission to dictate to any company its internal business decisions?

This whole issue stems from a mentality in Europe generally that the government is entitled to the proceeds of business, not the owners, not the employees, not the management. As far as they are concerned there is no capitalism or personal ownership at all.

They will be truly shocked and harmed when they kill the private sector goose that keeps laying golden eggs, to pay off their gross overspending, over indebtedness, and over printing of money, harming all users of money, especially poor people.

It is a circular self-feeding problem causing more problems, and as with any government, all problems require their further meddling and imposing themselves and their fiscally wrecked policies, further exasperating the societal pain!

We are watching it in slow motion.
Rating: 3 Votes
37 months ago

A special casing that's been going on for decades with multiple corporations under Irelands support that relates to the tax rate Apple pays. Who's to say what the EU will take issue with next, toilet paper rolled under or over?

Either way if this ruling stands Ireland will be losing thousands of current jobs and thousands of potential jobs.

The investigation started 3 years ago, from that date, they can go 10 years back, as in any tax adjustment.

That Ireland will lose is your opinion.

A similar thing recently happened to EDF in France, for over a billion.

And the same thing happened to Santander and others in Spain, the EU lost the appeal, and appealed back.

Similar thing to 4 soccer clubs in Spain recently.


There's no US witch hunt. These are the rules to play in Europe.
Rating: 3 Votes
37 months ago

That 26% is a fiction, since it assumes tax paid on repatriated profits - most of which are sitting untaxed in tax havens. Apple has as much intention of paying the US rate of 35% on those profits as it had the Irish rate of 12.5% on them. Cook lied. Not merely obfuscated but flat out lied to the press.

It is all very well for Ireland to eschew tax payments except that it accepts a net annual contribution from the EU coffers based on its GDP. A GDP artificially supressed due to its arcane tax loopholes. It got to play a tax haven subsidised by the tax payers of the rest of the EU. It will be very interesting for Ireland to prove in court that that does not amount to state aid by the back door.

Thank you. Apple pays less than 1% in Australia too (much less I think) and no amount of repatriation to the US will give Australia any more money. Tim Cook is showing his true colours here and he's coming undone. This is his career and legacy unwinding. Not even by the controversy but by the way he's handling it.

I guess him saying "total political crap" is him trying to sound relatable whilst similarly going on the offensive. Well Tim I've got news for you. Everything is political. You're quite happy to get political when it comes to gay rights (which I also support) or supporting the Democrats but not Republicans. You just don't like it because you're on the losing side of public opinion and rather than use mild vulgarity why don't you argue you case with the truth and figures that aren't lies and spin? Why should I pay 40-50% or more in tax while corporations pay 0.01%? How is that not even remotely unbalanced? How he thinks he can defend that is beyond pathetic when they can afford what the EU is asking and more.

There are big issues at stake here. Despite globalisation and the biggest companies getting bigger, poverty, disadvantage and disparity are increasing. There'll be a crisis of underemployment in the West soon if things don't change. We're seeing this already in countries like Spain and Greece. Facebook (another user of the "double Irish" scam for tax minimisation) has revenue of $18 billion but employs as few as 12,500 people globally. If these companies don't pay more then who else will? I suppose someone struggling to forge a meagre existence as an Apple retail staffer that's who.
Rating: 3 Votes
37 months ago

I am not sure about that, they still have one of the lowest rates in the EU.

Until the EU decides that is too low and goes after them for back taxes. This is the problem with not being in control of your own country. Ireland purposely lowers its rates to get companies in, US states do the same thing with tax vacations for companies that move ops to their home state. In fact states often compete with lowered rates. Now imagine a government outside of the US tells the states they can't do that and sue the companies they got to come to their state and provide jobs.
Rating: 3 Votes
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