The European Commission (EC) is to publish a report outlining its case against Apple and the Irish government over alleged tax issues that have taken place over 20 years.
The EC will publish its report this week and the Financial Times claims it will directly accuse Apple and the Irish government of having a ‘sweetheart’ deal limiting the amount of corporation tax Apple pays to just two percent.
This deal is said to have been in place for two decades and focuses on Apple Sales International and Apple Operations Europe centres that operate in Ireland. The EC said such conditions could amount to state aid.
Announcing the first stage of the case in July EC vice president in charge of competition policy Joaquín Almunia said it was important for the Commission to ensure that all firms pay taxes.
"In the current context of tight public budgets, it is particularly important that large multinationals pay their fair share of taxes," he said.
"Under the EU's state aid rules, national authorities cannot take measures allowing certain companies to pay less tax than they should if the tax rules of the member state were applied in a fair and non-discriminatory way."
Apple and Ireland have always denied any wrongdoing. V3 contacted Apple for comment on the latest stage of the case but had received no reply at the time of publication.
On a post on its website the Irish government’s Department of Finance acknowledged the imminent publication of the report but said this was a normal stage in any investigation.
“Later this week the Commission are due to publish the formal letter that was sent to the Irish authorities in June, setting out the ‘Opening Decision’ in this case.
“This is simply the next normal procedural step in the state aid investigation process. At this stage, the Commission has not formally decided that there is state aid, only that it is formally examining this case.”
The Open Decision announcement will give interested parties the chance to submit official comments on the case directly to the EC.
Any decision taken against Apple could ultimately see the firm having to pay back millions, if not billions, in unpaid taxes dating back many years.
The EU is also investigating Starbucks and car maker Fiat over similar issues with tax regimes in Holland and Luxembourg, respectively.
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