Ap­ple ap­peals EU or­der to col­lect $14B in back taxes

Kuwait Times - - TECHNOLOGY -

Ap­ple is ap­peal­ing a Euro­pean Union or­der to col­lect a record 13 bil­lion eu­ros ($14 bil­lion) in back taxes based on the way it re­ports Euro­pean-wide prof­its through Ire­land. The move fol­lows a sim­i­lar ap­peal Sun­day by Ire­land. Ire­land charges the Cu­per­tino, Cal­i­for­nia-based com­pany only for sales within Ire­land. EU Com­pe­ti­tion Com­mis­sioner Mar­grethe Vestager said the ar­range­ment let Ap­ple use two shell com­pa­nies in­cor­po­rated in Ire­land to re­port its Europe-wide prof­its at ef­fec­tive rates well un­der 1 per­cent. In a state­ment Mon­day, Ap­ple said the EU 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.”

“If their opin­ion is al­lowed to stand, Ap­ple would pay 40 per­cent of all the cor­po­rate in­come tax col­lected in Ire­land, which is un­prece­dented and, far from lev­el­ing the play­ing field, se­lec­tively tar­gets Ap­ple,” Ap­ple said. “This has no ba­sis in fact or law and we’re con­fi­dent the rul­ing will be over­turned.” Ap­ple says it has a world­wide in­come tax rate of around 26 per­cent. The Ir­ish and Ap­ple ap­peals set the stage for a ti­tanic le­gal bat­tle that has im­pli­ca­tions for more than 600 US multi­na­tion­als based in Ire­land and thou­sands more us­ing tax-avoid­ance ve­hi­cles glob­ally. The EU’s Depart­ment of Fi­nance has pledged to close rules per­mit­ting shell com­pa­nies, though global com­pa­nies could avoid that ob­sta­cle by shift­ing the same ac­count­ing strate­gies to other coun­tries be­yond the EU’s wrath. — AP

NEW YORK: In this Sept 5, 2014, file photo, the Ap­ple logo hangs in the glass box en­trance to the com­pany’s Fifth Av­enue store. — AP

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