EU regulators may issue decision on Ireland/Apple tax deal before year’s end

Ireland’s finance minister thinks European Union regulators will issue a decision on the country's tax deal with Apple before the end of 2015, which could force the Cupertino, California-based company to pay a hefty amount of back taxes, notes Reuters.

The European Commission (EU) has already ordered Dutch authorities to recover up to 30 million euros (about US$32.23 million) from U.S. coffee chain Starbucks and Luxembourg to do the same with Fiat Chrysler for their tax deals.

The EU, Europe’s anti-trust and consumer investigation agency, has claimed that Ireland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands have attracted investment and jobs by helping big companies avoid tax in other countries, including EU members. The commission suspects Ireland was too lenient in rulings it gave to Apple and which helped the company shield tens of billions of dollars in profit from taxation. At 12.5 percent, Ireland’s corporate tax rate beats the U.S. rate of 35%. However, participating companies don’t pay that 12.5 percentunder the double Irish structure.