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Apple Will Start Paying Back Taxes to Irish Government Next Month Amid Legal Battle With European Regulators

Apple will start paying 13 billion euros in back taxes to the Irish government from May, according to the Financial Times, nearly two years after the European Commission ruled that the company received illegal aid from the country that saw its tax bill significantly reduced over the past few decades.


As expected, the report states that Apple and the Irish government have reached an agreement to set up an escrow account to hold the money while both sides appeal the August 2016 ruling in Europe's highest court. Once the amount has been received in full, additional interest payments will be calculated.

Ireland's finance minister Paschal Donohoe today said the appeal process is likely to begin in the fall, according to Reuters.

Ireland is required to hold the funds in escrow until the legal process is completed, according to the report. Apple previously said the amount will be reported as restricted cash on its balance sheet once it begins making payments.

For background, the European Commission said the Irish government gave Apple unfair advantage between 1991 and 2007 by allowing the company to move income from the European market through two "non-resident" head office subsidiaries based in Ireland, but Apple says there are "fundamental errors" in the findings.

Apple CEO Tim Cook previously called the decision "total political crap" and said Apple pays all of the taxes it owes based on the laws of each country in which it operates. Likewise, the Irish government said it did not give favorable tax treatment to Apple and added that it "does not do deals with taxpayers."

Apple expects its appeal with the European Union's highest courts to take several years, but it is confident the European Commission's decision will be overturned, in which case the 13 billion euros would be returned to the company.

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

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22 weeks ago
Good. I wonder if Timmy will tweet anything inspirational about that.
Rating: 19 Votes
22 weeks ago
"Apple CEO Tim Cook previously called the decision "total political crap ('//www.macrumors.com/2016/09/01/tim-cook-tax-total-political-crap/')" and said Apple pays all of the taxes it owes based on the laws of each country in which it operates"

Good old Tim Cook, the Chairman and CEO of Doublespeak. Yes, you do pay all of what you're "legally obligated" to pay but when you intentionally shift money around and extort "concessions" that's not paying your fair share. It's called tax evasion & tax avoidance.
Rating: 17 Votes
22 weeks ago

I wonder how this money will be spent once it's turned over. I'm sure some worthy cause. :rolleyes:


Yup. Likely ridiculous things like free health care, hospitals, roads, food programs, schools, and services.

I like Apple as much as the next macrumor visitor but this junk the big companies pull turns my stomach.

If the tax scheme is a convoluted mess of techniques involving an army of accountant and lawyers does it seem right to you? Are you afforded the same tricks and schemes?
Rating: 15 Votes
22 weeks ago

Are there not limits to how far back Apple can be held accountable?
1991, that was over 25 years ago.


Not every country has statutes of limitations, nor on every crime. Additionally, Apple has been a big tax evader; I hope they have to pay up for all the taxes they've tried to escape!
Rating: 15 Votes
22 weeks ago

"Apple CEO Tim Cook previously called the decision "total political crap ('//www.macrumors.com/2016/09/01/tim-cook-tax-total-political-crap/')" and said Apple pays all of the taxes it owes based on the laws of each country in which it operates"

Good old Tim Cook, the Chairman and CEO of Doublespeak. Yes, you do pay all of what you're "legally obligated" to pay but when you intentionally shift money around and extort "concessions" that's not paying your fair share. It's called tax evasion & tax avoidance.


Tax evasion would be evading taxes legally applied. They have never been proven to have done that.

Tax avoidance is due diligence to structure the companies investments and cash flow for maximum gain and minimum expense. In other words... smart business.
Rating: 13 Votes
22 weeks ago

This will never leave Ireland. Keep Brussels away from it !!! ;)


The EU are the ones forcing Ireland to take it? You can't give illegal state aid for kick backs under EU law and not expect the EU not to enforce the rules. But guess what Apple have picked Jersey as their TAX sinkhole backdoor now so Ireland won't have to deal with being a haven anymore.
Rating: 8 Votes
22 weeks ago

Not every country has statutes of limitations, nor on every crime. Additionally, Apple has been a big tax evader; I hope they have to pay up for all the taxes they've tried to escape!


How has Apple evaded tax when they've paid what the Irish government agreed upon all the time?

Apple is an international company. Which means they pay taxes based on where the business is done. The business done in the US is taxed for and paid in the US. The business done in the EU is taxed and paid for in the EU. The same applies to Asia. Should Apple be taxed in the US for their business outside of the US?

The Irish government and Apple made an agreement on the tax percentage that Apple would pay by operating a large part of their EU business from Irland. And Apple has paid on time all the time. If anything, it should be the Irish government who should be fined, simply because they made such a poor deal in the first place.
Rating: 8 Votes
22 weeks ago
Global companies can shift any profit to any country. We here need to tax global profits not just profits assigned to the US.
Rating: 6 Votes
22 weeks ago

The EU Commission evaluated the tax agreements made by the Irish government and Apple to be a form of state aid, which is illegal in the EU. They then ordered the state aid to be recovered, which they can do within 10 years from when the case was opened (so from 2004 the case having been opened in 2014).

I find actually surprising the Irish government had not been fined too.


Oh great, so the Irish government agreed to something that was illegal in the union that they're a part of, and Apple is the one to blame. Wow.

I mean I'm all for supporting the commonwealth, but calling this agreement tax avoidance on Apple's part is mind-boggling. I live in one of the tax-heaviest countries in the world (Norway), and I know what high taxes can give back in regards to health care and infrastructure. But in this case Apple has followed the laws, signed the papers, business as usual. The Irish government however, have done a really poor job, broken EU regulations (a parliament they have chosen to be a part of), and most important of all, made a really bad deal which hurts the people they are supposed to govern.

The Irish government are the one's that should be in the bad spotlight here. Not Apple.
Rating: 6 Votes
22 weeks ago

This will never leave Ireland. Keep Brussels away from it !!! ;)


Not sure what you're getting at here? Over the years Ireland has been a massive net beneficiary of the EU. Since 2014 it seems to have been a small net contributor but that's arguably the result of decades of investment by the EU.
Rating: 6 Votes

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