Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Ireland has decided to appeal a European Union ruling that asked the company to repay $13.8 billion or 13 billion Euros to the country.
On August 30, EU regulators passed this judgment, saying that the tax deal was illegal, as Ireland has allowed Apple to pay less tax than other businesses, thus harming competition. The country had allowed Apple to pay tax at less than 1 percent, on a condition that the American technology giant creates jobs in the country. Margrethe Vestager, the European Competition Commissioner, pointed this out saying that Ireland cannot do this. Vestager is a former Danish economy minister.
Ireland, Apple, and the United States Objects
Apple’s European headquarters are in Ireland. The country has decided to contest this decision, saying that European regulators are interfering with national sovereignty. The country’s finance ministry issued a statement saying that the European Commission has misunderstood Irish law. He said, “Ireland did not give favorable tax treatment to Apple. The full amount of tax was paid in this case and no state aid was provided. Ireland does not do deals with taxpayers”.
The US administration too has objected to the EU ruling, saying that it will negatively affect American investments in Europe. Apple says it is “a convenient target”, and has been singled out unfairly.
Apple Attacks Margrethe Vestager
The Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) decision to file a complaint this week was revealed by Luca Maestri, the Chief Financial Officer, and Bruce Sewell, who is the general counsel. Attacking Vestager, Luca even said, “Apple is a convenient target because it generates lots of headlines. It allows the commissioner to become Dane of the year for 2016”. Last month, Danish newspaper Berlingske had given this title to Margrethe Vestager.
However, Apple isn’t the only business that has been penalized for favorable tax deals within the EU. The commission had also asked the Netherlands to recover 25.6 million Pounds from Starbucks. Luxembourg was also asked to recover a lot of money from Fiat.
The Irish government and Apple now want to tell judges that the Commission did not consider reports submitted by tax experts representing the Irish authorities. Last time, the Commission did not even argue the findings of these tax experts.
It won’t be a problem for Apple, even if they lose this case and have to pay the $13.8 billion penalty. Apple has reported a net profit of $53 billion for 2015.