Tim Cook: EU’s Ruling On Back Taxes Apple Owes Ireland Is “Total Political Crap”

Image courtesy of Adam Fagen

After the European Union antitrust commissioner announced earlier this week that Apple received preferential treatment in terms of taxes and owes Ireland €13 billion or so for 10 years’ worth of back tax, Apple CEO Tim Cook is calling the whole thing “total political crap.”

Apple has already said it will appeal the ruling, a process that could take years, but Cook is ready to talk about it all right now, saying he’d “love” to see Ireland’s government launch an appeal as well.

“No one did anything wrong here and we need to stand together. Ireland is being picked on and this is unacceptable,” Cook told The Irish Independent.

“It’s total political crap,” he added of the assertion by European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager that Apple paid just 0.005% tax in Ireland in 2014. “They just picked a number from I don’t know where. In the year that the Commission says we paid that tax figure, we actually paid $400 million. We believe that makes us the highest taxpayer in Ireland that year.”

Vestager disagrees with Cook, saying the back tax amount was calculated based on data provided by Apple itself, and evidence presented during hearings on Apple’s tax issues in the U.S.

When asked if she accepted Cook’s comments, she told a news conference, “No, I will not. This is a decision based on the facts of the case,” Reuters reports.

Sides are being chosen both here in the U.S. and in Europe: France’s Finance Minister Michel Sapin has landed on Vestager’s side, agreeing that Apple’s Irish tax arrangements could be seen as abnormal state aid.

“The European Commission is doing its job,” he told a news conference. “It’s normal to make Apple pay normal taxes.”

Germany’s economy minister also sided with the Commission, but Britain (which voted to exit the EU in June) is staying out of it, saying it’s an issue between the EU, Apple, and Ireland.

‘No one did anything wrong here and Ireland is being picked on… It is total political crap’ – Apple chief Tim Cook [The Irish Independent]
EU ruling on Apple’s Irish tax is ‘total political crap’: CEO [Reuters]

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