Apple could be slammed with $20 billion bill

Apple iPad AirThe European Commission is still investigating the tiny amount of tax that Apple pays in Ireland, but a newspaper estimates it could be as much as $20 billion.

Ireland has always been something of a tax haven for American tech companies, which have found it easy to cut deals with whatever hue of government is in power there. Other companies including Intel, EMC and Dell have in the past taken advantage of Ireland’s receptiveness to inward investment.

But, according to the Financial Post, it seems that the EC is about to make a decision and that could land Apple with a bill of over $19 billion – that’s if the Irish tax rate is imposed on earning of over $150 billion of Apple profits over the last decade.

The EC believes that the way Apple is allowed to pay litle tax in the Republic could well be interpreted as illegal state aid.

The newspaper quotes an analyst as saying that it’s likely there will be a negative ruling against Apple.