Sure, Ireland may not want to collect the 13 billion euros ($15 billion U.S.) that the European Union says Apple owes in unpaid taxes, but other European countries are not as shy about bellying up to the trough for a taste of the action.
Germany’s DW reports from a summit of European finance ministers that at least four countries have ‘expressed an interest’ in claiming their share.
Austria, France, Italy & the Netherlands are all interested in claiming their share of any possible Apple tax payments.
Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem appeared to be first in line, warning Apple on Saturday to “get ready” to pay up. His comment came after a two-day meeting of his EU counterparts in the Slovak capital, Bratislava […]
Other EU countries, including Austria, Italy and France, are following the case closely, and expressing interest in a possible payout, according to Austria’s Finance Minister Hans Joerg Schelling, who spoke on the sidelines of the two-day summit.
The four countries might have an excellent chance of collecting from Apple, as Italy previously notified Apple that it doesn’t accept the way the Cupertino firm funnels its Italian Apple Store profits to Ireland, and and submitted a demand for back taxes on $1.3 billion in sales their country. And, the company paid them off. However, the iPhone maker may fight any claims from other countries related to their Ireland “tax scheme,” as they could all make a claim to collect up to ten years of back taxes.
Any payments Apple might make to individual countries would correspondingly reduce the tax bill due to Ireland, so that total payout would be modified as needed. With so many countries having a stake in the ruling, the EU will feel increasing pressure to win any related tax case that might go to court.