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Irish cabinet votes to appeal EU's $14.5B tax penalty on Apple

Apple's appeal of the European Commission's $14.5 billion charge in back taxes will be aided by Ireland's cabinet, who voted on Friday to endorse the legal challenge.

With approval from Ireland's cabinet, the republic's parliament will vote to support Apple and the nation's tax policies next week, according to Reuters. The result was expected but not guaranteed— independents on the cabinet did not back the move.

Still, Apple has the support of Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan and opposition party Fianna Fail. As a result, it's expected that Apple will easily win the support of parliament.

The European Commission, which is the legislative arm of the European Union, announced on Tuesday that it was levying a 13-billion-euro charge ($14.5 billion U.S.) against Apple for what it believes are unpaid back taxes. The Commission declared that tax rates on European profits were illegally low at 0.005 percent in 2014, and 1 percent in 2013.

Apple has already vowed to appeal the ruling, and has expressed confidence that the decision will be reversed. That process could take considerable time, however— IBM just concluded a 7-year dispute with Japanese tax authorities, for example.

Regardless of how it plays out, Apple has more than enough cash on hand to pay the EU's tax bill. As of the end of last quarter, the company reported some $231 billion in cash, most of it held outside of the U.S.