Apple gets the EU off its back by paying a hefty $15.3 billion tax bill

Apple gets the EU off its back by paying a hefty $15.3 billion tax bill
Everyone knows that making a lot of money means paying a lot of taxes. And while corporations often find ways to reduce the amount of money they have to pay in taxes, Apple’s plan for that in Europe didn’t quite work.

The US company had an arrangement with the Republic of Ireland that gave it a special tax rates that went as low as 0.05%. While the deal worked great for both parties, the European Commission, vigilant as always, looked into the matter and in 2016 deemed the preferential tax rates illegal, on the premise that they are giving Apple an unfair advantage over its competitors in Europe. The decision was welcomed by the US government as well, since companies using Ireland as a tax heaven often pay less taxes in the States as well. Making Ireland a less lucrative destination for corporations might bring some of that cash back into the US economy. As a result of the ruling, Apple was ordered to pay the missing amount of taxes owed between 2003 and 2014, $15.3 billion in total, of which $1.4 billion is just interest. 

Apple and Ireland’s government appealed the EC’s decision, but after the appeals failed, Apple paid part of the sum, $1.76 billion, this May. Now the company has transferred the rest of the money, about $13.5 billion, which has triggered an immediate response from Commission's officials.

The spokesman for the EC commented on the matter, saying that one of the commissioners will be proposing withdrawal of the court action against Apple, meaning they’re considering the case resolved. Not surprising, after all, it’s not every day you receive several billions from a private company.

Apple isn’t the only company using Ireland for its preferential corporate tax rates, Google, Facebook and Microsoft, among others, also make use of those. The Commission’s success in Apple’s case might bring changes to the way other companies conduct business in Ireland.

source: Reuters via Engadget

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28 Comments

1. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3083; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

Apple could you spare a change for a brother? I don't wanna ask too much.

2. Nine1Sickness

Posts: 884; Member since: Jan 30, 2011

Yes they can, they just knocked off the price of the iPhone 7 and 8. You’re welcome.

4. AmashAziz

Posts: 2867; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

Hey this is Tim Cook. I cannot stress enough how much we care for your brother so we are reducing the price of our iPhone Xs series by 50 cents. So you can enjoy the revolutionary new dual-sim feature and get ripped of at the same time. Ain't that cool ;-)

7. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3083; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

Tim Cook would say: "best discount on an iPhone ever".

12. darkkjedii

Posts: 30494; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Or this is the most advanced discount we've ever gave.

20. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3083; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

“ We are so excited to give this revolutionary discount. A first In the industry “.

27. cheetah2k

Posts: 2098; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

I'm sure Tim Crook approved

11. darkkjedii

Posts: 30494; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

LMAOOOO LMAOOOO

3. gamehead unregistered

Didnt pay taxes for more than an entire decade? Wow

6. SIGPRO

Posts: 2806; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

They paid only 1% income tax for years, but finally they are punished!

5. RebelwithoutaClue

Posts: 5465; Member since: Apr 05, 2013

"Apple isn’t the only company using Ireland for its preferential corporate tax rates, Google, Facebook and Microsoft, among others, also make use of those. The Commission’s success in Apple’s case might bring changes to the way other companies conduct business in Ireland" Apple isn't sued because they use Ireland's cheap ass rates for tech companies. They are sued because they used a construction that gives them even more discount on tax rates. A construction Ireland didn't offer the other companies. Which is considered illegal by the EU. Also, the loophole called Double Dutch, Irish Sandwich, which gives companies unfair tax rates is being banned. It's no longer accepted, only running contracts can benefit them until 2020. Then those will also end.

21. Leo_MC

Posts: 5885; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

You mean NV companies will also have to pay standard tax rates?

8. jaychildz

Posts: 144; Member since: May 31, 2013

I just want to know what these governments do with this money after they rob companies and people of it.

18. MrHate

Posts: 308; Member since: Feb 09, 2015

In democratic countries it gets used so people get free healthcare or to improve infrastructure, to repair our streets, to build schools/hospitals or pay a ton of people that work for the government like teachers and a ton of other things. How do you think all of it gets paid? See this money as something that keeps the country you're living in running.

24. RebelwithoutaClue

Posts: 5465; Member since: Apr 05, 2013

I don't understand that people fail to see this simple fact. Running a country costs money. Sure I complain sometimes too that certain taxes are too high. But that is mainly because of these s**tty companies avoiding normal taxes.

23. RebelwithoutaClue

Posts: 5465; Member since: Apr 05, 2013

Rob companies? Seriously? Because big companies find loopholes to lower taxes to extreme lows, the normal people have to cough up the rest of the money to run a country. The government isn't robbing people of their money, those companies do.

26. cheetah2k

Posts: 2098; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

LOL @ robbing. Just another butthurt ifan.

9. L0n3n1nja

Posts: 1499; Member since: Jul 12, 2016

Use cheap labor in such terrible working conditions you need suicide nets to prevent employees from jumping to their deaths. Charge ridiculous amounts of money for a cheap Chinese phone. Hide the majority of the money overseas avoiding taxes. What a great company.

10. Leo_MC

Posts: 5885; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

Told ya that.

13. power21

Posts: 80; Member since: Jul 15, 2015

at least we know why they didn't include the fast chargers.

15. sissy246

Posts: 6831; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Now I hope they do the same to the other Companies and make them pay up.

17. doublestandardz

Posts: 103; Member since: Jul 06, 2018

thatz should sustain the european freeloading politicians for awhile until they can shakedown another company.

19. Wazupmrg

Posts: 124; Member since: Apr 10, 2017

"off its back" or finally forced to pay? You're the MGK of technology blogs

25. cheetah2k

Posts: 2098; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

"Apple gets the EU off its back" you sound like they shouldn't have paid it?? Sh1t like this hurts you ifans, but Apple need to stop being a prick and observe the tax rules in every country and pay up.

28. ShadowHammer

Posts: 188; Member since: Mar 13, 2015

Maybe Ireland should perform a Brexit, and be able to make their own agreements with corporations, rather than have entities from the mainland decide what is best for them? Pros and cons in joining a large conglomerate with lots of different interests and backgrounds.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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