Apple holds Europe to ransom: Tech giant threatens to cut jobs in EU after Brussels orders it to pay back £11BILLION in tax over ‘illegal’ sweetheart deal with Irish government
The European Commission’s three-year investigation into Apple’s sweetheart deal with Ireland has found it amounted to illegal state aid. In a damning report published today it emerged the tech giant paid as little as 0.005 per cent tax by funnelling its non-US profits through a ‘so-called headquarters’ in Ireland with no staff or premises then on to its $178billion (£120bn) offshore account (top right). The giant tax bill, which could reach £16billion ($21 billion) because of interest, will not be difficult for the company to pay because it made $53.4billion (£35billion) last year (bottom right) – the biggest profit in corporate history. But Apple will appeal and the tech giant’s CEO Tim Cook, who previously called the probe ‘political c**p’, is threatening EU job losses. The US Treasury has also warned the EU not to pursue American companies over tax avoidance – but McDonald’s, Google and Amazon could be next. Ireland has said it doesn’t want Apple’s money even though it is equivalent to £2,400 for each of its 4.5million residents and would cover the costs of its national health service for a year.