The EC wants Irish government to recover €13bn in “illegal tax benefits” after finding Apple paid almost nothing on EU profits
The European Commission (EC), as expected, has ordered the Irish government to recover up to €13 billion (£11bn) plus interest in “illegal tax benefits”.
An investigation found Apple had been able to avoid taxation on almost all profits generated in the EU single market thanks to a structure which routed revenues through two “paper” headquarters in Ireland and minimal tax rates in the country.
The EC says Apple only paid an effective corporate tax rate that fell from one percent in 2003 to 0.005 percent in 2014 – a rate which other companies in Ireland were not subjected to. This effectively amounted to state aid, the commission said.
“Member States cannot give tax benefits to selected companies – this is illegal under EU state aid rules,” said Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, who is in charge of competition policy. “The Commission’s investigation concluded that Ireland granted illegal tax benefits to Apple, which enabled it to pay substantially less tax than other businesses over many years.”
Apple is claimed to have received the illegal benefits since 1991, but investigators are only able to demand the Irish government recover up to ten years in unpaid taxes, dating back from the EC’s first request for information in 2013.
Apple told TechWeekEurope it would appeal the decision:
Apple has also committed to support sustainable offshore energy in Ireland and is building a brand new data centre in County Galway, which TechWeekEurope exclusively revealed will be designed by Arup.
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