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Apple Faces $14.5B Tax Bill After EU Investigation

The European Commission, Tuesday, ruled that Ireland’s tax dealings with Apple were illegal T, saying the country granted “undue tax benefits” of up to $14.5 billion to the California tech giant.
NBC reported that the ruling means Ireland must now recover the unpaid taxes, plus interest — but it said the amount could be reduced if Apple agreed to pay more tax to other countries.
Commissioner Margrethe Vestager was expected to hold a news conference in Brussels to outline the reasons for her decision.
A worker blows leaves away from the Apple campus in Cork, Ireland. PAUL FAITH / AFP – Getty Images
The case centers on deals that encouraged the U.S. tech giant to route vast profits through Ireland, even though EU state aid laws bar governments giving some firms unfair advantages.
The ruling is likely to anger Washington, which has accused Brussels of campaigning against U.S. corporate success stories.
The European Commission — the EU’s executive arm — first accused Ireland in 2014 of dodging international tax rules by letting Apple shelter profits worth tens of billions of dollars from tax collectors in return for maintaining jobs.
It said the deals were “reverse engineered” to ensure that Apple had a minimal Irish bill and that minutes of meetings between Apple representatives and Irish tax officials showed the company’s tax treatment had been “motivated by employment considerations.”
Apple and Ireland have consistently rejected the accusation, saying they will appeal any adverse ruling.
Apple employs 5,500 workers, or about a quarter of its European-based staff in the Irish city of Cork, where it is the largest private-sector employer. It has said it paid Ireland’s 12.5 percent rate on all the income that it generates in the country.
Ireland’s low corporate tax rate has been a cornerstone of economic policy for 20 years, drawing investors from major multinational companies whose staff account for almost one in 10 workers in Ireland.

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