Following the EU Commission’s ruling this morning, requiring Apple to pay CAD$18.9 billion in back taxes to Ireland, Apple CEO Tim Cook replied in an open letter, saying that they are “confident” that the Commission’s order will be reversed.
After quickly outlining the early days in Ireland, the business opportunity Ireland saw in Apple’s presence there, and how the company grew its Ireland branch to help create and sustain more than 1.5 million jobs across Europe, Cook quickly notes that as responsible corporate citizens, Apple is proud of its contribution to local economies across the old continent and worldwide. He also touted the fact that Apple has become the largest taxpayer in Ireland, in the U.S., and in the world.
Cook seems offended by the EU Commission’s investigation and says the anti-trust regulator “has launched an effort to rewrite Apple’s history in Europe,” calling out the ruling that claims Apple received special treatment from Ireland for tax purposes. Cook says, “This claim has no basis in fact or in law.”
We never asked for, nor did we receive, any special deals. We now find ourselves in the unusual position of being ordered to retroactively pay additional taxes to a government that says we don’t owe them any more than we’ve already paid.
Cook alleges that the EU Commission’s case is about which government collects the money—not how much Apple pays in taxes.
Beyond the obvious targeting of Apple, the most profound and harmful effect of this ruling will be on investment and job creation in Europe. Using the Commission’s theory, every company in Ireland and across Europe is suddenly at risk of being subjected to taxes under laws that never existed.
Ireland has plans to appeal the Commission’s ruling, and since it has the right to appeal, Apple will do the same. Cook is confident that today’s ruling will be reversed.
You can read Tim Cook’s letter in full on Apple’s official website.