Irish politicians are accusing Apple CEO Tim Cook of snubbing the country's legislature, and by association the entirety of Ireland, by declining an invitation to answer questions about the European Union's recent tax ruling.
An Irish legislative committee is reportedly optimistic that Apple CEO Tim Cook will accept an invitation to attend a late January hearing, which will examine the European Commission's ruling that Ireland must collect $14.5 billion in back taxes from the iPhone maker.
Although technically refusing to repatriate its international revenue to avoid taxes, Apple is actually keeping much of it in the U.S. in the form of bonds — and generating interest in the process, a report pointed out on Wednesday.
Apple continues to expand its operations in Ireland, despite ongoing criticism of its presence there for tax purposes, with the company's international iTunes business now setting up shop in the town of Holyhill.
The U.S. Treasury Department on Thursday issued new legal guidance that might prevent Apple from recouping any back taxes owed in Ireland by claiming them against taxes it would normally pay in America.
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.
Most U.S. officials are lining up to fight the $14.5 billion E.U. tax edict with support from assorted talking heads, but the battle appears to be more about which taxation agency the money belongs to, rather than actual support for Apple.
A long appeal process over Apple's Ireland tax bill might have unintended consequences, with a governmental official who has opposed the ruling making claims that the tally will be closer to 19 billion euro ($21.2 billion) when the process concludes.
While a prominent Irish businessman is decrying the $14.5 billion tax edict applied by the European Commission with strong language, members from Ireland's government have started the appeal discussion — but the process may take more time than expected to garner sufficient support from a wide body of lawmakers.
On Tuesday the Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey extended an open invitation for Apple to move its international operations to that country, in the wake of a E.U. ruling ordering Ireland to collect $14.5 billion in back taxes from the company.
While a $14.5 billion payment of back taxes could bankrupt many major corporations, it's pocket change for a company as cash flush as Apple. As a result, analysts surveyed by AppleInsider on Tuesday said they aren't concerned about the European Commission's decision, regardless of how an appeal ultimately plays out.
On Tuesday the European Commission will find against Ireland's tax arrangements with Apple, and ask the country to collect over 1 billion euros ($1.119 billion) in back taxes, a report claimed on Monday.