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.
“The government fundamentally disagrees with the European Commission’s analysis and the decision left no choice but to take an appeal to the European Courts and this will be submitted tomorrow,” Noonan told a European Parliament committee today in Brussels.
Turning down $14 billion
The decision to turn down a $14 billion windfall may seem like an odd decision for outsiders. Apple has been a major investor in Ireland, though. Citizens fear angering the iPhone-maker could cause the country to lose jobs.
The European Union handed Apple the massive tax bill in August, claiming the company took advantage of illegal state aid that allowed it to route profits through Ireland. The investigation alleged that Apple paid the equivalent of as little as 0.005 percent on all European profits in 2014. Apple CEO Tim Cook has denied any wrongdoing.
With backing from Ireland, Apple has said it is confident the tax ruling will be overturned. Ireland is also hoping to protect its own tax regime, which has helped attract major multinational corporations to lay down roots in the country.