Cupertino, United States-based tech giant and most valuable company in the world, Apple Inc., has threatened to close its offices in the entire Europe after it was slammed with an $11bn (over 4.4 trillion naira) by Ireland and the European Union.
A report by UK newspaper Daily Mail goes thus:
Apple has already threatened to cut jobs after Brussels ordered it to repay £11billion ($14.5billion) – the biggest tax bill ever imposed outside the US.
The European Commission’s three-year investigation into Apple’s sweetheart deal with Ireland has found it amounted to illegal state aid.
In a damning report published today it emerged the tech giant paid as little as 0.005 per cent tax by funnelling its non-US profits through a ‘so-called headquarters’ in Ireland with no staff or premises.
In 2011 Apple’s profits outside America were $22billion but Ireland agreed that only 50 million euros ($55million) was considered taxable.
The EU’s giant tax bill will not be difficult for the company to pay because it has amassed a huge $178 billion (£120bn) offshore cash fund and last year made $53.4billion (£35billion) – the biggest profit in corporate history.
But Apple will appeal and the tech giant’s CEO Tim Cook, who previously called the probe ‘political c**p’, is threatening EU job losses if they don’t back down. The US Treasury has also warned the EU not to pursue American companies over tax avoidance.
And Ireland has said it doesn’t want the money, equivalent to £2,500 for each of their 4.5million population and would cover the costs of its health service for a year.
Quoting a letter Apple CEO Tim Cook wrote to fanboys (and girls), in which he warned of impending doom on Europe’s economy if the company pulls out following the tax sanction:
“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.
“Apple has long supported international tax reform with the objectives of simplicity and clarity. We believe these changes should come about through the proper legislative process, in which proposals are discussed among the leaders and citizens of the affected countries. And as with any new laws, they should be applied going forward — not retroactively.
“We are committed to Ireland and we plan to continue investing there, growing and serving our customers with the same level of passion and commitment. We firmly believe that the facts and the established legal principles upon which the EU was founded will ultimately prevail.”