EU Commission: Apple must pay $14.5 billion in back taxes

Apple must repay 13 billion euros ($14.5 billion) in back taxes dating back to 2003-2014, the European Commission has ruled, reports the BBC. This was confirmed this morning.

“The Commission has concluded that Ireland granted undue tax benefits of up to €13 billion to Apple,” says the EU commissioner Margrethe Vestager. “This is illegal under EU state aid rules, because it allowed Apple to pay substantially less tax than other businesses. Ireland must now recover the illegal aid.”

Ireland Finance Minister Noonan said the country "disagrees profoundly" with the back tax ruling by the European Commission. Apple has said that it will appeal the European Commission tax decision. And CEO Tim Cook has posted an open letter on addressing the issue.

The Europe’s anti-trust and consumer investigation agency 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%, Ireland’s corporate tax rate beats the U.S. rate of 35%. However, participating companies don’t pay that 12.5% under the double Irish structure.