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Cook Fires Back In Staunch Attack On EU Irish Tax Rule

Apple CEO Tim Cook has launched a staunch defence of iPhone maker’s tax record after the European Union’s Competition Commission ordered it to pay A$19 billion in unpaid taxes to Ireland.

In an unapologetic statement published on Apple’s website Cook said the iPhone maker had become the largest taxpayer in Ireland, the largest taxpayer in the US and the largest taxpayer in the world.

He vehemently attacked the European Commission saying it was trying to rewrite Apple’s history in Europe, ignore Ireland’s tax laws and upend the international tax system in the process.

Cook said Apple did not ask for or receive any special treatment from Ireland and the EU’s order to pay back the $19 billion had no basis in fact or in law.

Apple currently employs 6,000 across Ireland and Cook said the company had helped create and sustain more than 1.5 million jobs throughout Europe as it produced more products.

These include hundreds of thousands of app developers who thrive on the App Store, and jobs with manufacturers and other suppliers.

Ireland plans to appeal the Commission’s ruling and Cook said Apple would do the same.

According to Bloomberg Apple is the world’s richest company generating over US$234 billion in revenue in fiscal year 2015.

It has about $232 billion of cash and marketable securities and paid $2.7 billion in consolidated income tax in the most recent quarter and just over $19 billion in fiscal year 2015.

Commercial lawyers saying the ordered payment was well above expectations and raised alarms within the global business community as to the possible repercussions for offshore profits.

In the US the decision has sent shockwaves through Congress with lawmakers said it could reduce the US tax bill because companies would be eligible for foreign tax credits.

In a surprise move the US Treasury has expressed sympathy for Apple describing the EU decision as unfair and contrary to well-established legal principles.

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