Following the European Commission’s ruling earlier this week that Ireland must collect 13 billion euros in back taxes from Apple, it had been expected that both Apple and the Irish government would appeal the decision.
After a somewhat divisive Friday meeting, Ireland’s coalition government has decided to join with Apple in the fight to reverse the EC ruling. Reuters reports a motion will be brought before the Irish parliament on Wednesday, in an attempt to gain official government endorsement of the decision.
European Commission regulators on Tuesday ruled that Apple’s tax arrangements with Ireland are illegal, and is demanding that the Cupertino firm pay back up to 13 billion euros, (around $14.5 billion US) in back taxes, plus interest. It was expected by many the amount would be much lower, somewhere in the neighborhood of $1.1 billion dollars, so the final ruling came as a bit of a surprise to some.
In an interview earlier this week, Apple CEO Tim Cook called the European Union’s recent ruling which saddled his company with a $14.5 billion tax bill “total political crap.” Apple purportedly paid between 0.005% and 1% in taxes to Ireland between 2003 and 2014, the country usually has a top corporate tax rate of 12.5%.
“I think that Apple was targeted here,” Cook said. “And I think that (anti-US sentiment) is one reason why we could have been targeted. People in leadership positions in several countries tell me that this is the agenda. I don’t know where that comes from. But what I feel strongly about is that this decision was politically based, of that I’m very confident. There is no reason for it in fact or in law.”