Via tomorrow’s Financial Times:
Apple will be accused of prospering from illegal tax deals with the Irish government for more than two decades when Brussels this week unveils details of a probe that could leave the iPhone maker with a record fine of as much as several billions of euros.
Preliminary findings from the European Commission’s investigation into Apple’s tax affairs in Ireland, where it has had a rate of less than 2 per cent, claim the Silicon Valley company benefited from illicit state aid after striking backroom deals with Ireland’s authorities, according to people involved in the case.
“We were simply trying to understand what was the right amount of taxes that we would have to pay in Ireland,” Mr Maestri said of the agreements, describing Apple’s approach as “very responsible, transparent and prudent”.
Legal curbs on state aid to companies are unique to the EU and Brussels has far-reaching powers to recover illegal support stretching back 10 years. While the commission has not yet made a precise calculation of improper support, it is expected to reach billions of euros.
The accusation that Apple rode to riches totalling $137.7bn in offshore cash with the help of the Irish taxpayer will come as a blow to a company that has striven to burnish its image of corporate social responsibility in recent years.
Apple Hit By Brussels induing Over Irish Backroom Deals (FT) – behind Paywall
Previously: Falling Far From The Tree