Apple has responded to the conclusion of a European probe into its tax arrangements that has resulted in a tax bill for the tech company of up to €13bn... and it isn't mincing its words.
"The European Commission has launched an effort to rewrite Apple’s history in Europe, ignore Ireland’s tax laws and upend the international tax system in the process," Apple said in a statement.
"The Commission’s case is not about how much Apple pays in taxes, it’s about which government collects the money. It will have a profound and harmful effect on investment and job creation in Europe. Apple follows the law and pays all of the taxes we owe wherever we operate. We will appeal and we are confident the decision will be overturned."
Apple boss Tim Cook has strongly defended Apple's payment of taxes across the globe previously. In an interview with the Washington Post just a few weeks ago, he discussed the issue.
"It’s important for everyone to understand that the allegation made in the EU is that Ireland gave us a special deal. Ireland denies that. The structure we have was applicable to everybody — it wasn’t something that was done unique to Apple. It was their law."
"And the basic controversy at the root of this is, people really aren’t arguing that Apple should pay more taxes. They’re arguing about who they should be paid to. And so there’s a tug of war going on between the countries of how you allocate profits. The way tax law works is the place you create value is the place where you are taxed. And so because we develop products largely in the United States, the tax accrues to the United States."
Cook called for reform of US corporate taxes, which currently levy a 40 per cent tax on any foreign profits repatriated to the US by Apple.
"What I’ve always felt should happen is that every dollar should be taxed immediately with no deferral. But as a consequence of doing that, you should have free flow of capital," he told the newspaper.
"What would happen is if a system like that were put in place, it should have more investment going into the United States. We’re the only major country in the world that has a system like this. It’s not good for the U.S., it’s not good for the economy, it’s not good for jobs, it’s not good for investments."
Shares in Apple dipped more than one per cent in pre-market trading following the decision.