Finance

Apple appeals EU’s multibillion dollar tax ruling

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Apple on Monday challenged the European Union’s August ruling that the tech company owes more than $13 billion in back taxes to Ireland.

Apple said in a statement that “the Commission took unilateral action and retroactively changed the rules, disregarding decades of Irish tax law, US tax law, as well as global consensus on tax policy, that everyone has relied on.”  

“If their opinion is allowed to stand, Apple would pay 40% of all the corporate income tax collected in Ireland, which is unprecedented and, far from leveling the playing field, selectively targets Apple,” the company said. “This has no basis in fact or law and we’re confident the ruling will be overturned.”

{mosads}Apple’s appeal comes as the European Commission, the EU’s executive body, published the text of its decision. The Commission concludes that Ireland gave Apple through tax arrangements a “selective advantage” that “distorts or threatens to distort competition and which is liable to affect trade between Member States.”

Ireland filed its own appeal of the EU’s ruling last month. On Monday, the Irish Department of Finance published a summary of its legal arguments to annul the decision, saying the commission’s finding that Apple was given an advantage over other businesses is “incorrect.”

The EU’s ruling that Apple owes Ireland 13 billion euros in back taxes has drawn criticism by policymakers in the U.S., who argue that it is inconsistent with international tax standards. Lawmakers have also said that the ruling highlights the need for tax reform, since it appears the EU is going after some of the $2.6 trillion in untaxed foreign earnings that U.S. corporations are holding overseas.

A Treasury Department spokesperson said Monday that the department has reviewed the EU’s ruling.

“We continue to believe‎ the Commission is retroactively applying a sweeping new State aid theory that is contrary to well-established legal principles, calls into question the tax rules of individual countries, and threatens to undermine the overall business climate in Europe‎,” the spokesperson said. “Moreover, it threatens to erode America’s corporate tax base.” 

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