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. The opinion issued on
August 30th alleges that Ireland gave Apple a special deal on our
taxes. 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.
The Commission’s move is unprecedented and it has serious,
wide-reaching implications. It is effectively proposing to replace
Irish tax laws with a view of what the Commission thinks the law
should have been. This would strike a devastating blow to the
sovereignty of EU member states over their own tax matters, and to
the principle of certainty of law in Europe. Ireland has said they
plan to appeal the Commission’s ruling and Apple will do the same.
We are confident that the Commission’s order will be reversed.
I’m with Cook on this one. It’s about what the Commission
(and many observers) think the tax law should have been, not what it actually was. It’s telling that Ireland is objecting just as strenuously as Apple.
Also: 13 billion euros isn’t all that much to Apple.