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.
You can read Tim Cook’s letter in full here. He addresses Apple’s choice to open offices in Ireland back in 1980, writing that:
“At the time, Cork was suffering from high unemployment and extremely low economic investment. But Apple’s leaders saw a community rich with talent, and one they believed could accommodate growth if the company was fortunate enough to succeed.”
He also states, in no uncertain terms, that suggestions Apple has an illegal sweetheart deal in Ireland, “has no basis in fact or in law,” confirms Apple will appeal the European Commission’s ruling, and suggests that, “We are confident that the Commission’s order will be reversed.”
But Cook argues that the the targeting of Apple is less about any right or wrongdoing the company has undertaken, and more about the EC’s attempts to overrule the Irish government, which has already said it is happy with its tax arrangement with Apple.
“At its root, the Commission’s case is not about how much Apple pays in taxes,” Cook writes. “It is about which government collects the money.”
Earlier today, the European Commission ordered that Apple pay the largest ever tax bill in European history — based on the accusation that it takes advantage of illegal state aid in Ireland.
Ireland’s finance ministry has sided with Apple, and said it “disagrees profoundly” with the decision.
During last year’s “Inside Apple” episode of 60 Minutes, Tim Cook labelled reports that Apple doesn’t pay its taxes as, “total political crap.”