Apple could be slapped with Europe’s biggest tax penalty, worth billions of euros, as the European Commission officials are set to deliver their verdict on the tech giant’s Irish tax affairs. According to the E.U., the Irish government’s orders in 1991 and 2007 allowed tax benefits to Apple, which is allegedly an illegal state aid under the bloc’s laws. The U.S. tech giant is accused of taking unfair competitive advantage by channelizing its international sales through Ireland.
Apple and the Irish government have dismissed all allegations, saying that they will appeal against any adverse ruling, reports Reuters. Apple, which is the largest private sector employer in the Irish city of Cork, claims that it has been paying the country’s 12.5 percent rate on all the income it generates there.
The European Commission’s probe into Apple and other American firms has drawn sharp criticism from the U.S. authorities, writes the BBC. The U.S. Treasury Department slammed the European Commission for “overriding” the tax codes of its member states and for using different set of rules for American companies.
If the European Commission rules against Apple, the iPhone maker will join the likes of Starbucks and Fiat, the companies that have been ordered to pay back taxes in the Netherlands and Luxembourg respectively.