Cook calls tax ruling “political crap”
Apple’s CEO says that both Apple and the Irish government have played by the rules, writes Katherine Noyes
The European Commission’s decision to force Apple to pay Ireland billions of dollars in back taxes is “total political crap” and a reflection of anti-US sentiment, company CEO Tim Cook told the Irish Independent in an interview. “No
one did anything wrong here,” Cook said. “Ireland is being picked on, and this is unacceptable.”
As we report on page 16, the EC has ruled that Ireland gave Apple illegal tax benefits by not collecting €13 billion ($14.5 billion) in taxes owed to it over a 10-year period. It was the culmination of a two-year investigation into the company’s tax affairs that found Apple’s effective tax rate on profit reported in Ireland was just €500 per million euros in profit, falling to €50 per million in 2014.
The Commission’s charges have “no basis in fact or in law,” Cook wrote in an open letter to Apple customers. The Irish tax authority has also disputed the ruling.
The EC is essentially trying to reallocate taxes that should be paid in the US to the EU, Cook told the publication, and may be using the case as part of a play to harmonise tax rates across the EU, as well. The fact that Apple was targeted is also in part a reflection of anti-US sentiment, he said.