According to an European Commission ruling, Ireland should recover up to €13 billion ($14.5 billion) from Apple in back taxes.
After a three-year investigation, the Commission has concluded that Apple’s Irish tax benefits are illegal.
It said Ireland enabled Apple to pay substantially less than other businesses, in effect paying a corporate tax rate of no more than 1%.
Ireland and Apple both said they disagreed with the record penalty and would appeal against it.
Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said: “Member states cannot give tax benefits to selected companies – this is illegal under EU state aid rules.
“The Commission’s investigation concluded that Ireland granted illegal tax benefits to Apple, which enabled it to pay substantially less tax than other businesses over many years.”
The standard rate of Irish corporate tax is 12.5%. The European Commission’s investigation concluded that Apple had effectively paid 1% tax on its European profits in 2003 and about 0.005% in 2014.
Margrethe Vestager said that the tax agreement reached between Ireland and Apple meant that the company’s taxable profits “did not correspond to economic reality”.
Apple said the decision would be harmful for jobs.
The company said in a statement: “The European Commission has launched an effort to rewrite Apple’s history in Europe, ignore Ireland’s tax laws and upend the international tax system in the process.”
“The Commission’s case is not about how much Apple pays in taxes, it’s about which government collects the money. It will have a profound and harmful effect on investment and job creation in Europe.
“Apple follows the law and pays all of the taxes we owe wherever we operate. We will appeal and we are confident the decision will be overturned.”
The Irish government held a similar view with finance minister Michael Noonan saying in a statement: “I disagree profoundly with the Commission.
“The decision leaves me with no choice but to seek cabinet approval to appeal. This is necessary to defend the integrity of our tax system; to provide tax certainty to business; and to challenge the encroachment of EU state aid rules into the sovereign member state competence of taxation.”
The US Treasury, which said last week that the European Commission was in danger of becoming a “supranational tax authority”, said the latest ruling could “undermine foreign investment, the business climate in Europe, and the important spirit of economic partnership between the US and the EU”.
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have flown into Ireland for a secret honeymoon after their wedding in Florence, Italy.
Kimye married in Florence on Saturday and reportedly arrived by private jet at Cork Airport the following day.
They were driven away for a five-day honeymoon in the Republic of Ireland.
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have flown into Ireland for a secret honeymoon after their wedding in Florence
It has been reported that Kim Kardashian and Kanye West will holiday at a luxury private estate in Munster.
According to the Irish Independent newspaper, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are also expected to spend at least a day in Dublin – and will tour some of Ireland’s most famous tourist attractions.
The publication reported that Kim Kardashian and Kanye West were accompanied by their personal assistants and bodyguards and are expected to remain in Ireland until Friday when they are due to fly back to the US.
It is the first marriage for Kanye West, and the third for Kim Kardashian.
Kanye West, 36, and Kim Kardashian, 33, were joined by several hundred guests at the 16th-century Fort Belvedere for their wedding at the weekend.
The rapper proposed to Kim Kardashian on her 33rd birthday in October last year at San Francisco baseball ground AT&T Park.
Kim Kardashian was previously married to music producer Damon Thomas from 2000 to 2003 and spent 72 days married to professional basketball player Kris Humphries in 2011.
Ireland and Portugal are to be granted an extra seven years to pay back their emergency bailout loans.
The EU and the IMF bailed out the Republic of Ireland in 2010 and Portugal in 2011.
The eurozone agreed to the terms at a meeting of finance ministers in Dublin.
Meanwhile, the eurozone finance ministers also said a 10 billion euro ($13 billion) EU bailout loan for Cyprus was ready for approval by member states.
That could happen by the end of the month and, if the IMF also gives the go-ahead, the first bailout money could be released by mid-May.
The plan for Ireland and Portugal is intended to give the countries’ financial systems more time to recover from the debt crisis after their bailout loans run out.
Ireland’s bailout money will run out later this year, and Portugal’s will run out in 2014.
Ireland and Portugal are to be granted an extra seven years to pay back their emergency bailout loans
The Irish and Portuguese repayment extensions are expected to be backed by all 27 EU members, which includes those outside the eurozone, later on Friday.
Eurogroup President and Dutch Finance Minister, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, said the ministers in Dublin had commended Portugal on its success in implementing the bailout programme but “asked them to maintain the reform momentum despite the difficult economic and domestic conditions”.
He added: “Ireland is a living example that adjustment programmes do work, provided there is a strong ownership and genuine commitment to reforms.”
The deal could be seen as something of a reward “for good behavior”, but also as recognition that an austerity-first approach was not always the best option.
The extension is especially important for Portugal. When it received a 78 billion euro bailout two years ago, it pledged to take various measures in its budget to reduce public spending.
However, last week Portugal’s Constitutional Court ruled that several of these measures in the 2013 budget were unlawful.
If Portugal was to drop the measures because of this, it may not remain eligible for more funds under its bailout.
On Thursday, it emerged that Cyprus would need to raise an extra 6 billion euros to secure the 10 billion euro bailout from Brussels and the IMF.
While confirming that up to 10 billion euros in loans will be provided to Cyprus, the eurozone finance ministers also rejected reports that the country might be granted more financial assistance.
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