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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