US technology giant Apple has been ordered to pay up to €13bn (£11bn) in back taxes to Ireland after a European probe, agencies report.Apple faces the record bill after the European Commission (EC) ruled that a special scheme to route profits through Ireland was illegal state aid.
The tech giant’s tax arrangements enabled it to pay a tax rate of as little as 0.005% on its European profits in 2014, according to the probe. That is just €50 (£43) in taxes on every €1m (£850m) of profit.
Ireland’s finance ministry said it “disagrees profoundly” with the decision and would prepare an appeal. The sum to be paid by Apple is 40 times bigger than any previous demand by the EC in such a case.
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.”