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Apple chief rejects EU tax ruling as "political crap"

01 September 2016

Apple chief, Tim Cook has rejected the EU's tax ruling as ''political crap''. He said Ireland was being ''picked on'', even as he continued to push plans for expansion in country (See: EC orders Apple to pay 13 bn in taxes plus interest to Irish government over illegal profit routing). Speaking to the Irish Independent, Cook  suggested that the EC might be working on using state aid rules to harmonise tax rates across the EU.

''There are other possibilities too, but I think it's clear that there is a desire to harmonise tax rates across the EU. Doing it this way doesn't seem like the right approach to me. There should be a public discussion about it.''

He also rejected European competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager's, findings from a three-year investigation into the iPhone maker's complex tax dealings, that Apple paid just 0.005 per cent tax in Ireland in 2014. According to Vestager, Apple's tax deal with Ireland amounted to illegal state aid.

''It's total political crap,'' Cook said. ''They just picked a number from I don't know where. In the year that the commission says we paid that tax figure, we actually paid $400 million. We believe that makes us the highest taxpayer in Ireland that year.''

Cook added, he would ''love'' to see the Irish government appeal against the commission's ruling to pay 13 billion in back tax to the Irish government.

Cook told Irish broadcaster RTE that Apple had not received preferential tax breaks in Ireland.

He added, he was "very confident" the ruling would be overturned on appeal.

"It's maddening, it's disappointing, it's clear that this comes from a political place, it has no basis in fact or in law, and unfortunately it's one of those things we have to work through."

"When you're accused of doing something that is so foreign to your values, it brings out an outrage in you, and that's how we feel. Apple has always been about doing the right thing.''

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