Tuesday, 20 December 2016 08:44

Apple, Ireland to appeal EU's ruling on tax

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Apple and Ireland have decided to appeal against the European Union's order in August that the software company pay back taxes of €13 billion (A$19.73 billion).

The EU order said at the time that a number of deals that Apple had made with Irish authorities were illegal.

The EU published the full version of its ruling on Monday. It said that the Irish government had not offered any justification for the selective treatment meted out to Apple over its tax arrangements in Ireland.

When it issued the order in August, the EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager said Apple's "selective treatment" resulted in an effective tax rate of 1% on its European profits in 2003. This rate fell to 0.005% by 2014.

Apple said in a statement that it pays 26% tax on its worldwide earnings.

"Because our products and services are created, designed and engineered in the US, that's where we pay most of our tax... this case has never been about how much tax Apple pays, it's about where that tax is paid," the company said.

The Irish government said the European Commission's analysis was flawed and hence it was seeking annulment of the decision and had lodged an application with the General Court of the European Union.

"Ireland did not give favourable 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," it said.

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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