EU says Apple's cash repatriation plans won't alleviate Irish $15.9B back tax payments
Though Apple is planning to pay the U.S. some $38 billion in taxes on repatriated foreign cash, that won't impact how much it owes in Ireland, a spokesman for the European Commission said on Thursday.
"The Commission's 2016 state aid decision found that, over many years, tax rulings issued by Ireland had allowed Apple to pay less tax on profits recorded in Ireland than other companies subject to same national taxation laws. This gave Apple an illegal advantage in breach of E.U. state aid rules, which must now be recovered by Ireland — nothing has changed in that regard," the representative explained to Reuters.
The European Commission had previously said that the amount Apple owes Ireland could be lowered if another country found sales should've been recorded there instead of Ireland, or if Apple's European subsididies were to pay more in taxes to their U.S. parent.
Since the company is merely repatriating foreign cash, it doesn't meet the necessary criteria.
Apple could still theoretically use its Irish payments to offset what it pays in the U.S., but the Irish government has yet to collect any money — prompting the Commission to go to court — and both Ireland and Apple are appealing the Commission's 2016 ruling.
Should they fail, Apple will owe some 13 billion euros in back taxes, currently worth about $15.9 billion U.S.