The European Commission is set to penalize Ireland with a "non-compliance action" for failing to collect up to $17.6 billion in back taxes from Apple, owed after the Commission found the Irish government brokered unfair deals that constituted illegal state aid.
In a German interview this week, Ireland's finance minister attacked the European Commission's ruling calling for the collection of $15 billion in back taxes (plus interest) from Apple, saying it was both unjustified and outside Ireland's responsibility.
Apple and the Irish government are reportedly nearing a deal that would shield the latter from losses incurred while holding up to $17.7 billion in Apple cash, including interest — money that may be due in back taxes following a 2016 European Commission ruling.
France is working with Germany on European Union reforms aimed at plugging loopholes U.S. technology companies like Apple use to minimize taxes, tactics that give foreign entities a leg up on local competition.
Apple has filed its appeal with the European court of appeals, all declaring that the European Commission's decision to levy $14 billion in taxes on Apple on behalf of the EU is erroneous, against the rule of law, and should be stricken.
Apple has declined a second invitation to a meeting with a finance committee in Ireland over the European Commission's $14 billion tax ruling, while Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan has accused the regulator of making a politically motivated decision.
The 13 billion euros ($14 billion) Apple is requested to pay Ireland as part a European Commission ruling over tax is likely to be an accurate figure, with the Irish finance minister advising the amount calculated by government officials is in a similar ballpark to the Commission's number.
Apple has missed the deadline to pay the 13 billion euros ($14 billion) the iPhone producer was ordered to pay Ireland in back taxes, but the European Commission is noting that progress is still being made by Apple to comply with its ruling.
Apple has assigned a definitive date to the planned relocation of its international iTunes assets, saying the iTunes Store, Apple Music, the App Store and iBooks Store businesses will make the transition to Cork, Ireland, in early February.
The European Commission's order for Apple to pay Ireland 13 billion euros ($14 billion) in back taxes is an overreach of power, with PricewaterhouseCoopers' head of Irish tax matters Feargal O'Rourke claiming the move is tantamount to a "land grab."