Irish government says it will collect the €13B ($15B) back-tax from Apple but under protest

The Irish government has said that it will comply with an EU ruling and collect €13 billion in back-tax from Apple, but is doing so under protest …

An European Union investigation into Apple’s tax affairs in Ireland found that the Irish government had offered an illegal ‘sweetheart’ deal to the Cupertino company. It ruled that Ireland needed to collect an additional €13B in taxes from the company.

Both Apple and the Irish government have appealed the ruling. Gizmodo notes that Apple has put the money into escrow, and Reuters reports that Ireland will collect the tax, but reluctantly.

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said the tax rules from which Apple benefited had been available to all and not tailored for the U.S. technology giant. They did not violate European or Irish law, he added. “We are not the global tax collector for everybody else.” […]

The Irish government has said it will collect the money pending an appeal by Apple.

Whatever the outcome of the appeal, it looks likely that Apple will have to end its practice of funnelling profits on all European sales through Ireland. Both the EU and individual European countries are clamping down on the practice, and insisting that profits must be declared in the countries within which sales were made.

The conflict has generated strong views on both sides, with a marked divide between U.S. and European views.

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