The Commission 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. Apple and Ireland rejected the accusation and claim it is not up to the Commission to decide how much tax Jobs’ Mob pays. Both have said they will appeal any ruling.
When it started looking at Apple in 2014, the Commission told the Irish government that tax rulings it agreed in 1991 and 2007 with the iPhone maker amounted to state aid and might have broken EU laws.
The Commission was miffed that the rulings had been “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 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 claims that it paid Ireland’s 12.5 percent rate on all the income that it generates in the country.
Apple can rely on its chums in the US Treasury Department to help out. Last week the department issued a white paper claiming that the EU executive’s tax investigations departed from international taxation norms and seemed to be focused on US companies. The Commission said it treated all countries equally. Our guess is that it is just the American companies which take the Michael.