EU DEMANDS BACK TAXES FROM APPLE
The European commission ruled that a sweetheart tax deal between Apple and the Irish tax authorities amounted to illegal state aid. The commission said the deal allowed Apple to pay a maximum tax rate of just 1%. In 2014, the tech firm paid tax at just 0.005%. The usual rate of corporation tax in Ireland is 12.5%.
“Member states cannot give tax benefits to selected companies - this is illegal under EU state aid rules,” said the European competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, whose investigation of Apple's complex tax dealings has taken three years.
The commission said Ireland's tax arrangements with Apple between 1991 and 2015 had allowed the US company to attribute sales to a “head office” that only existed on paper and could not have generated such profits.
The result was that Apple avoided tax on almost all the profit generated from its multi-billion euro sales of iPhones and other products across the EU's single market. It booked the profits in Ireland rather than the country in which the product was sold. Both Apple and the Irish government were appealing a ruling last month.