Apple to be investigated by EU for alleged tax evasion

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Apple paid just 3.7% tax on its non-U.S. income last year — and the European Commission isn’t happy about it.

Registering its overseas business in Ireland, Apple is one of three companies being investigated for abusive transfer pricing and other forms of corporate profit shifting, with the other two being Starbucks and Fiat Finance and Trade.

The subject of corporate tax avoidance has become an increasingly hot-button issue in recent years, as the result of probes into international businesses like Apple and Google, which use convoluted structures as a means of slashing their tax bills.

Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny told journalists that “We believe that our legislation … is very strong and ethically implemented and we will defend that very robustly.”

A U.S. Senate subcommittee investigation revealed last year that Apple has escaped paying billions from its tax bill. Senator Carl Levin, chairman of the subcommittee, said the Apple structure represents “the Holy Grail of tax avoidance.” Apple was later cleared of wrongdoing by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

“We pay all the taxes we owe — every single dollar,” testified Tim Cook during the investigation.

We’ll keep you updated as this story progresses.

  • digitaldumdum

    “Apple to be investigated by EU for alleged tax evasion”

    Poorly run as the EU’s financial arms are, it’s no wonder they seek what they consider easy pickins’.

  • Johnh24

    Crapple, this time you can’t get away of it.

    • Kr00

      I see the moron brigade has been let loose for the day, ugh. These troll bait articles seem to flush them out, doesn’t it?

      Every company avoids paying tax under the laws of each country. There’s nothing illegal about it, and anyone who doesn’t minimise their tax is a fool. So have you never minimised your tax, ever? Never claimed a deduction that wasn’t a true deduction? Hmm.

      In case you weren’t aware, google and Microsoft do exactly the same. So will they not get away with it too? Now back in your box little boy.

  • Los MariaCarol

    Well, they may as well go after every single billionaire; how about investigating some of these sham charity foundations, like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; isn’t Bill Gates the richest person in the world; besides Europe has a greater problem and it’s called PUTIN.

  • The Gnome

    The EU… embarrassing themselves as usual.

  • http://www.robgadv.com/ RobG

    Of course any well-run company is going to find ways around paying anymore tax than they absolutely have to. Taxes are basically money stolen by government and wasted. Government (ANY government) doesn’t deserve probably 90% of the tax revenues it gets. So all power to them.

  • aaloo

    EU is being stupid. Apple is following all the laws when they minimize their taxes. EU is essentially wasting tax payers money on launching this investigation.

About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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