Apple Finishes Paying $15.3B in Back Taxes to Ireland, Prompting EU Regulators to Drop Lawsuit

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Just over two years after the European Commission ruled that Apple was receiving illegal state aid from Ireland -- where it had reportedly paid less than 2 percent in taxes compared to the country's headline 12.5 percent corporate tax rate -- Apple has now paid back the entire 13.1 billion euros ($15.3 billion) it owed in back taxes (via Reuters).

The European Commission confirmed the payment this week, and furthermore said that EU antitrust regulators now plan to drop all legal action against Ireland. The EU had originally taken Ireland to court for failing to recover the $15.3 billion in tax due from Apple.

The confirmation of the withdrawal of litigation came from an email sent by European Commission spokesman Ricardo Cardoso:
"In light of the full payment by Apple of the illegal State aid it had received from Ireland, Commissioner Vestager will be proposing to the College of Commissioners the withdrawal of this court action," Commission spokesman Ricardo Cardoso said in an email.
Although the EU gave its final ruling in August 2016 regarding Apple's tax loophole in Ireland, the regulatory body had first kicked off an investigation into Apple's tax arrangements back in 2014. The ruling eventually found that Apple was allowed to pay an effective corporate tax rate of 1 percent on its European profits in 2003, down to 0.005 percent in 2014. Specifically in 2014, Apple paid 0.005 percent tax on EU profits, which means that "For every million euros in profits, it (Apple) paid just EUR500 in taxes," said European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager at the time.

Apple and CEO Tim Cook were adamant that the ruling was based on "fundamental errors" and Cook referred to the tax avoidance accusations as "total political crap." He elaborated, stating that Apple pays all of the taxes it owes based on the laws of each country in which it operates. Likewise, the Irish government said it did not give favorable tax treatment to Apple and added that it "does not do deals with taxpayers."

Apple and Ireland eventually moved to appeal the ruling, but as things escalated the European Commission decided to open litigation against Ireland in October 2017 for its failure to procure Apple's back taxes. Eventually, Apple began paying the back taxes it owed around March 2018, and in a report from earlier in the year sources stated that payments were expected to finish around September.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Article Link: Apple Finishes Paying $15.3B in Back Taxes to Ireland, Prompting EU Regulators to Drop Lawsuit
 

vrDrew

macrumors 65816
Jan 31, 2010
1,331
12,833
Midlife, Midwest
Imagine the sad fate of the Irish government! Forced to accept $15 billion in tax money it obviously has no use for. For shame, for shame.

Hey, Irish Government. Here's a suggestion: Take some of that money and use it to properly investigate the century+ of abuse and neglect inflicted on poor young women and children. You know, the Magdalene laundries. The orphanages that were more like concentration camps. Take some of that money and make an offer of compensation to the thousands of young people who were sexually abused by Priests of the Catholic Church that ran your country for much of its existence.

Ireland is now a rich, cultured, and beautiful country. But its got some sad times in its past. Take this windfall and make amends for one of the stains in your recent history.
 

69Mustang

macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
7,327
13,684
In between a rock and a hard place
This is like me getting a $15.30 bill. Just pay it and move on.
Comparatively speaking that $15.3B was a third of Apple's $45B net income for 2017. If that's like you getting a bill for $15.30, back of napkin math says you're broke.:p:D There's no scenario where $15B is a trivial amount. Even spread over two years of payments, there's nothing trivial about that amount of money.
 

gsmornot

macrumors 68040
Sep 29, 2014
3,242
2,793
Comparatively speaking that $15.3B was a third of Apple's $45B net income for 2017. If that's like you getting a bill for $15.30, back of napkin math says you're broke.:p:D There's no scenario where $15B is a trivial amount. Even spread over two years of payments, there's nothing trivial about that amount of money.
My point was to be funny but that's ok. Your reply is correct in that it is not a small amount they paid.
 

Scooz

Suspended
Apr 9, 2012
339
347
$15.38
So...
What?
Ah.
Back Taxes. Back Taxi. Tzzz.
Then...
$15.3B
How much tip? These US guys...
Ah, you got an app. Great.
 

macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
10,925
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Central U.S.

EW800

macrumors 6502
Jul 4, 2012
365
92
$15.3B.... Tim Cook carries that much in his wallet. Won’t even phase him....
 

ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
8,698
4,319
Good job Ireland / EU. Would be good if US gov't went after some big pharma and other corporations.
That sounds anti-consumer to me. I don't want taxes inflicted on big pharma - I want big pharma to fix their pricing and issue refunds to everyone they've ripped off over the years.

Which will result in a lot of money going back to the government, paying back a lot of stuff paid out as medicare/medicaid, but I wouldn't view that as a tax.
 
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chfilm

macrumors 68030
Nov 15, 2012
2,834
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Berlin
It seems like most of Apple's products will be exempt and Cook has maintained that the iPhone shouldn't be affected:

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/09/18/app...ot-really-great-to-tariff-apple-products.html

So much for that "hands off, let the markets decide" ideal that republicans strive for, lol.
They don’t know what they’re doing.. even if apple products were excluded for now, eventually something bad will happen with the direction in which trump is steering the world economy.
 

bladerunner2000

Suspended
Jun 12, 2015
2,511
10,464
Apple's worth a trillion dollars. 15 billion is NOTHING to them. Evading taxes in USA was for their benefit, I'm sure they're saving regardless.
 
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rpmurray

macrumors 6502
Feb 21, 2017
264
654
Back End of Beyond
“In light of the full payment by Apple of the alleged illegal State aid it had received from Ireland, Commissioner Vestager will be proposing to the College of Commissioners the withdrawal of this court action.”

Fixed that for you European Commission spokesman Ricardo Cardoso.
 

danpass

macrumors 68020
Jun 27, 2009
2,451
116
Miami, FL
so loopholes, ie the statute as written, only applies when the money is inconsequential?

Beyond that the loophole, that they wrote, needs to be closed?

Equal application of the law ... clearly not.


-
 

macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
10,925
14,608
Central U.S.
They don’t know what they’re doing.. even if apple products were excluded for now, eventually something bad will happen with the direction in which trump is steering the world economy.
Unfortunately I think they do know what they are doing. There aren't enough wars these days so they probably want to steer things in that direction on a global scale. Why else piss off every other country while massively building up our defenses? They want to recreate the economic boom and development of the 50s or something weird where America was on top and everyone else was poor and rebuilding. That's not sustainable. The reason Apple gets a pass is because they got on Trump's good side with their plans for those big, beautiful plants in the U.S. which will happen "someday." I think Apple played the president and I'm not surprised he doesn't realize it.
 
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