Apple has ‘failed to grasp’ why people are upset about tax avoidance

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The president of the eurozone’s finance ministers says Apple just doesn't get it.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Jeroen Dijsselbloem, president of the eurozone’s finance ministers, has accused Apple of “[failing] to grasp” the public outcry concerning tax avoidance by multinational corporations.

He was referring to last week’s landmark decision, which handed Apple an enormous tax bill of 13 billion euros ($14.52 billion), based on its supposed underpayment of taxes in the Republic of Ireland. Apple paid a reported 0.005 percent tax on its European profits in 2014.

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

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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.

Tim Cook: Apple’s tax bill will have a ‘harmful’ effect on investment in EU

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Tim Cook was ranked the nation's top CEO by ExecRank.
It didn't take Tim Cook long to hit back!
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Tim Cook has written an open letter addressing Apple’s enormous tax bill, arguing that the European Union’s demand for €13 billion ($14.52 billion) in unpaid back taxes will have a “profound and harmful effect” on “investment and job creation in Europe.”

At present, Apple employs close to 6,000 people in Ireland, as well as “sustaining” 1.5 million jobs across Europe — including those at Apple and other manufacturers, developers and suppliers who rely on it.

Apple gets an unexpected €13 billion tax bill

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Apple just got landed with the tax bill from hell.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The verdict’s in on Apple’s European tax investigation, and the company has been handed a massive 13 billion euros ($14.52 billion) bill for unpaid back taxes in the Republic of Ireland.

The order was made by European Union competition officials, who ruled that Apple was taking advantage of illegal state aid that allowed the company to route profits through Ireland.