Apple threatens to cut jobs in EU after Brussels demands it pays back £11billion in Irish tax

APPLE was yesterday ordered to pay £11billion in Irish back taxes in Europe’s biggest fine of its kind to date.

After a three-year probe, the European Commission ruled that Apple’s tax deal with Ireland, dating back ten years, was illegal.

It prompted a No10 spokesman to cheekily suggest Apple could relocate its European HQ from Ireland — saying “Britain is open for business”.

He said: “Our corporation tax is one of the lowest in the world.”
And Neil Wilson, analyst at ETX Capital, said Britain could benefit post Brexit.

He added: “If Ireland cannot offer sweetheart deals within the EU, the City of London can perhaps offer something more appealing outside the bloc.”

The EC’s competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager said the world’s biggest firm had “effectively” paid a corporate tax rate of 0.005 per cent in 2014.

That is the equivalent of £50 on every £1million of profit.

Even in 2003 Apple paid only around one per cent of the tax it should have paid. Ireland’s standard rate is 12.5 per cent.

The previous biggest EU penalty was 1.2billion for French energy group EDF last year.

Ms Vestager said giving tax benefits to selected firms “is illegal under EU state aid rules”.

She said: “The Commission’s investigation concluded that Ireland granted illegal tax benefits to Apple, enabling it to pay substantially less tax than other businesses over many years.”

Apple yesterday vowed to appeal against the penalty, saying it would damage its jobs creation and investment in Europe.

It said the EC had “launched an effort to rewrite Apple’s history in Europe, ignore Ireland’s tax laws and up-end the international tax system in the process”.

Apple made £179billion in worldwide sales last year with profits of £40billion. It would recoup the fine in sales in just 23 days.

Ireland’s finance minister Michael Noonan said he disagreed “profoundly” with the EC’s decision.

Apple — led by chief executive Tim Cook, pictured — has had a base in Ireland since 1980 and employs 5,500 there.

    Source: Read Full Article