Tim Cook gets ready to stare down EU over giant tax bill

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Cook
The only three things that are for sure: death, taxes, and thinner iPhones.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

So far, most of Apple’s wrangles concerning its European tax issues has been carried out by the company’s accountants and legal team.

That could change in 2017, however, when none other than Tim Cook has been requested to attend a meeting in Dublin, Ireland, alongside the EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager.

Ireland preps to appeal Apple tax case this week

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money
Apple has been criticized for its tax structure.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Ireland is set to submit its formal appeal of a European Commission ruling that claimed Apple owes the country more than $14 billion in unpaid taxes.

The controversial tax ruling has been opposed by Irish citizens, a majority of whom say they don’t want Apple’s money. Ireland’s Finance Minister Michael Noonan said today that the country’s government has no choice but to appeal.

Why Tim Cook’s open letter about taxes struggles to paint Apple as the underdog

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Apple-BigBrother-1984
Who is Big Brother and who's the rebel freedom fighter?
Photo: Apple

With his open letter defending Apple’s Irish tax strategy, Tim Cook positions his company as a sledgehammer-tossing freedom fighter at battle with Big Brother-style EU bureaucracy.

But unlike Cook’s previous missives on LGBT rights and the importance of privacy, this open letter seems unlikely to be met with near-unanimous support. While railing against the EU’s massive assessment of €13 billion euros in back taxes owed by Apple, Cook ignores the facts of the matter — and seems tone-deaf about painting the world’s biggest company as an underdog.

After ruling, Apple could owe billions in EU taxes

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Mo money, mo problems.
Apple faces a steep tax bill in Ireland.
Photo: Milo Kahney/Cult of Mac

The European Commission has finally finished its investigation into Apple’s tax breaks with Ireland and it appears that the company will be slapped with a fine for more than $1 billion in back taxes. 

The commission’s final ruling is expected to come tomorrow, according to a new report that claims Ireland will be expected to calculate exactly how much Apple owes. 

Apple announces 1,000 new jobs in Ireland

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Apple's Hollyhill, Cork factory is the only Apple-run manufacturing facility in the world.
Apple's Hollyhill, Cork factory is the only Apple-run manufacturing facility in the world.
Photo: Irish Examiner

Apple has announced plans to hire an extra 1,000 employees in Ireland — as the deadline draws closer concerning the European Union announcing their decision about whether or not Apple dodged taxes thanks to the Irish government.

Apple will add 1,000 staff to its offices in Cork by mid-2017, where it currently operates the only Apple-owned manufacturing facility in the world, building Mac computers.

European court rules Apple and other tech companies are violating privacy

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The European Court of Justice just handed down a disruptive ruling.
The European Court of Justice just handed down a disruptive ruling.
Photo: Cédric Puisney/FlickrCC

In a landmark decision Tuesday, the European Court of Justice ruled that European Union regulators can override the Safe Harbor agreement, a 15-year-old accord that has — until now — allowed Apple, Google, Facebook, and about 4,500 other U.S. companies to transfer data from European users to the U.S.

The court believes that the current agreement violates European citizens’ right to privacy by exposing their private data to the U.S. government through the American companies’ cooperation with U.S. intelligence agencies.

Apple increases Dev Program membership prices in Europe

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You now have to pay more to become an App Store developer. Photo: Apple
You now have to pay more to become an App Store developer. Photo: Apple

Apple offers 14-day refund window for digital purchases in Europe

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iTunes is down!. Photo:
Getting a refund for accidental iTunes purchases is easier than ever. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

EU plans to publish details of Apple’s alleged tax evasion

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Apple could be made to repay unpaid tax in the EU. Photo: The Daily Show

Regulators are set to break down the reason tax deals given to Apple in Ireland violate EU laws, according to people familiar with the matter.

The European Commission began formal investigations into the tax avoidance issue back in June, and plans to publish its findings as early as today — with the claim that tax deals between Apple and the Irish government could fall under the heading of illegal state aid.

While Apple has yet to make a comment on the matter, the Irish government has spoken up; describing its position as “confident” that the Apple deal represents “no breach of state-aid rules.” It claims that it has already submitted a formal response to the European Commission, in which it addresses in detail “the concerns and some misunderstandings.”