News Daily Spot: EU calls on Apple to return to Ireland record sum of 13 billion euros for tax advantages

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EU calls on Apple to return to Ireland record sum of 13 billion euros for tax advantages

The European Commission on Tuesday gave a big blow to the "tax advantages" granted by Ireland to Apple and demanded that the US giant to return to this country a record amount of over 13,000 million euros, for undue tax advantages.

Ireland and the software giant immediately announced they would appeal this decision, described by Apple of "disastrous" for employment and investment in Europe.

This phenomenal amount surpasses all practiced so far in these cases. So far the largest fine imposed by State aid was 1,290 million euros to car Nürburgring circuit in Germany, which had received public support incompatible with European competition rules.

After three years of research, the European Commission "concluded that Ireland had granted Apple undue tax advantages for 13,000 million euros," said the European executive in a statement.

"This practice is illegal under EU rules on state aid because it allowed Apple to pay a lot less tax than other companies" on "almost all the profits" from sales in the EU, explains the Commission.

"This is due to Apple's decision to record all sales in Ireland instead of the countries where the products were sold," he explains.

The US giant has also had a "selective treatment" disqualifies "a kind of effective enforcement of 1% of its European profits, rate decreased to 0.005% in 2014," he said at a press conference European Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager.

"Ireland must now recover unpaid taxes by Apple on its territory between 2003 and 2014, namely 13,000 million plus interest," explains the Commission.

Ireland reacted almost immediately. "I strongly disagree with the decision of the Commission" said Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan said in a statement. "Finance Minister will seek the approval of the cabinet to appeal the decision of the Commission to the European justice," he added.

Apple also announced it would appeal the decision to the EU. "We will appeal and are confident that the decision will be overturned," said the US giant in a statement, he said that this decision "will have a profound and detrimental effect on investment and job creation in Europe" by Apple.

- Stoking -

Tuesday's decision runs the risk of adding fuel to the fire in the already tense relations between the uncompromising Danish Commissioner Vestager, and the United States.

Last Wednesday, the US Treasury and raised the tone in the dispute that opposes the Commission on the prosecutor to US multinationals, in addition to Apple, it involves Starbucks, Fiat-Chrysler and Amazon deal.

"The actions of the Commission could threaten foreign investment, the business climate in Europe and the important spirit of cooperation between the US and the EU" Treasury said in a statement.

Questioned about this tension at the press conference on Tuesday, the Commissioner Vestager said he believes "share the same objective as the United States in a fair and equitable global taxation for citizens".

In a "White Paper" of 26 pages transmitted to Brussels, the US Treasury last week denounced the investigations of the Commission on the prosecutor to State aid and its retroactivity treatment.

This letter comes after another led in February by Treasury Secretary Jack Lew to Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the Commission, which is incensed that the EU "imposes fines retroactively on the basis of a new flexible interpretation of State aid (...) and seems to focus disproportionately on US companies. "

It is the fourth time in less than a year that the Commissioner Vestager punish multinationals that have made favorable tax agreements with certain countries. These include the American Starbucks and Italy's Fiat.

In January, Vestager investigated at least 35 multinationals among them the Belgian-Brazilian brewer AB InBev-, which benefited from tax advantages in Belgium, a country whose tax system is particularly favorable to large groups.


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