Fine of the century: Apple to pay €13bn in tax

The European Commission ordered Apple to pay, while the American company says the ruling has no basis in fact or in law.

The European Commission has decided that the American tech giant Apple must pay The Republic of Ireland €13 billion (£11bn) in tax, according to multiple media sources.  

After almost three years of investigating, the European Commission has concluded that the incentives Apple enjoyed were illegal. The Commission has also added that they allowed the American company to pay significantly less taxes, compared to other companies.  

In Dublin, Apple used to pay one per cent of taxes. The EU Commission’s decision can be appealed by both Apple and the Republic of Ireland government.  European Union’s competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, submitted a 130-pages long ruling. 

The case was kicked off in 2014 and revolved around Apple’s position in Ireland.  

Apple, on the other hand, says it did nothing wrong. In a statement posted on the Apple site, the company says the claim has ‘no basis in fact or in law’. “We never asked for, nor did we receive, any special deals. We now find ourselves in the unusual position of being ordered to retroactively pay additional taxes to a government that says we don't owe them any more than we've already paid,” the statement says. “The Commission’s move is unprecedented and it has serious, wide-reaching implications. It is effectively proposing to replace Irish tax laws with a view of what the Commission thinks the law should have been. This would strike a devastating blow to the sovereignty of EU member states over their own tax matters, and to the principle of certainty of law in Europe. Ireland has said they plan to appeal the Commission’s ruling and Apple will do the same. We are confident that the Commission’s order will be reversed.”  

Image Credit: Flickr / Jason Ralston