Apple CEO says EU tax ruling 'total
political crap': Irish Independent
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[September 01, 2016]
DUBLIN (Reuters) - The European
Union's imposition of a 13 billion euro ($14.5 billion) back tax bill on
Apple <AAPL.O> is "total political crap", Chief Executive Tim Cook said
in a newspaper interview on Thursday, and anti-U.S. bias may have played
But in a separate radio interview he vowed to boost Apple's tax payments
by repatriating billions of dollars in global profits to the United
States next year.
On Tuesday, EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager questioned
how anyone might think an arrangement that allowed Apple to pay a tax
rate of 0.005 percent, as Apple's main Irish unit did in 2014, was fair.
"They just picked a number from I don't know where," Cook told the Irish
Independent, estimating Apple's average annual tax on its profits at 26
Cook said he would fight closely with Ireland to overturn the ruling,
which he said had "no basis in law or in fact". It is by far the largest
anti-competition penalty imposed on a company by the EU.
"No one did anything wrong here and we need to stand together. Ireland
is being picked on and this is unacceptable," Cook told the newspaper,
adding that bias against multinationals from the United States may have
been a factor in the decision to impose the bill.
"I think that Apple was targeted here," he said. "And I think that
(anti-U.S. sentiment) is one reason why we could have been targeted."
"I think it's a desire to reallocate taxes that should be paid in the US
to the EU," he added.
In the interview with Irish state broadcaster RTE, Cook said part of the
company's 2014 tax bill would be paid next year when the company
repatriates billions of dollars of offshore profits to the United
[to top of second column]
Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook gestures to the audience as he closes the
company's World Wide Developers Conference keynote in San Francisco,
California, U.S., June 13, 2016. REUTERS/Stephen Lam
Apple was found to be holding over $181 billion in accumulated
profits offshore, more than any U.S. company, in a study published
last year by two left-leaning nonprofit groups, a policy critics say
is designed to avoid paying U.S taxes.
"We paid 400 (million dollars) to Ireland (in 2014), we paid 400 to
the U.S. and we provisioned several billion dollars for the U.S. for
payment as soon as we repatriate it and right now I forecast that
repatriation to occur next year," Cook told RTE.
Cook told RTE he was very confident his appeal would succeed and
said Apple was committed to expanding its operations in Ireland
despite the ruling.
(Reporting by Conor Humphries; editing by Susan Thomas)
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