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France & Netherlands among EU countries considering pursuing share of Apple taxes

In the wake of the European Commission's ruling against tax deals between Apple and Ireland, the finance ministers of several other European countries are reportedly considering a share of the iPhone maker's back taxes.




Austria, Italy, France, and the Netherlands are among the countries following the outcome of the Commission's ruling, which is set to be appealed by both Apple and Ireland, according to Deutsche Welle. Companies like Apple "have an obligation to pay taxes in a fair way," said Dutch finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, adding that "international tax loopholes are a thing of the past."

"If it's legally accurate, you can be sure that as minister of finance I will take it," said Austria's Hans Joerg Schelling. "We Austrians are looking at it intensively."

Britain's Philip Hammond commented that the European Union is eager "to make sure that international corporations pay the right tax at the right place."

The Commission has accused Ireland of extending illegal state aid to Apple for years in the form of preferential tax treatment, such that in 2014, it paid just 0.005 percent on its European profits —the company uses Ireland to funnel billions in international revenue. Although Ireland might nominally benefit from collecting more taxes, the country has used loopholes to attract multinational corporations and jobs that might otherwise go to other nations.

Ireland has been ordered to collect at least 13 billion euros ($14.6 billion) from Apple, though the final tally could reach 19 billion euros (over $21 billion) after interest. The Commission's ruling reflects growing sentiment against tax havens in Europe and abroad, fueled by crunches on government budgets, and April's release of the Panama Papers.