Apple CEO Tim Cook Upset about EU Tax Bill
After a two-year investigation, the European Union (EU) says the American company Apple must pay over $14 billion in back taxes to Ireland.
The EU's competition commissioner said the company did not pay enough in taxes between 2003 and 2014. She questioned how anyone might think that Apple's 2014 Irish tax rate of five thousandths of one percent was fair.
The European Commission is responsible for making official decisions for the European Union. The Commission follows rules designed to make sure businesses in Europe compete fairly.
In late August, the Commission announced that it would attempt to recover the back taxes from Apple. It said the company reported earnings for all of the computers, computer tablets and mobile phones it sold in Europe through its office in Ireland. Because of a tax deal with the Irish government, Apple never had to pay much tax on its earnings.
The Competition Commission is not only investigating Apple. It is looking at deals between European countries and major international businesses including Starbucks, Fiat, Amazon and McDonald's.
Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook denies the EU allegations. He said Apple paid $400 million in taxes in 2014, and his company paid more in taxes than any other business in Ireland.
The tax bill is not only causing concerns in Ireland and Europe. Government officials in the United States are also worried.
Josh Earnest is the spokesman for President Barack Obama. He said Americans could be hurt by the EU's ruling if Apple is required to make the payment. He said the company then could legally reduce the billions of dollars it pays Ireland from the U.S. taxes it owes.
Earnest said the Obama administration is concerned EU officials decided to rule against Apple without first talking to the U.S. government.
The U.S Treasury Department called the EU's decision unfair. It claimed the EU was targeting American companies for punishment recently. The commission denied that allegation.
On September 1, Tim Cook told an Irish newspaper that Apple would work with Irish officials to overturn Europe's decision. He also said the tax ruling was politically motivated.
The European Commission said Ireland offered Apple the low tax rates in order to save thousands of Apple jobs within the country. It called the deal, "illegal."
Ireland's Minister of Finance, Michael Noonan, said his country will appeal the commission's ruling. But if the tax is paid, it would be the largest ever in Europe.
I'm Dan Friedell.
1.tax rate 税率
His prime task is to lower the tax rate.
2.back taxes 补缴税款
Bill was found guilty of tax evasion and owes the IRS over$ 60,000 in back taxes.
3.the European Union 欧盟
By 1995, East Asia had almost caught up with the United States and the European Union.
4.computer tablets 平板电脑
Personal computer sales have been sliding for years now because of the ever-increasing popularity of computertablets.
1.The European Commission is responsible for making official decisions for the European Union.
be responsible for 对...负责
She was responsible for buying the properties for the television series.
He denied that he was responsible for the accident.
2.The European Commission said Ireland offered Apple the low tax rates in order to save thousands of Apple jobs within the country.
in order to 为了...
He was going for a scholarship in order to go abroad.
In order to catch up with in time he run very fast.
欧盟竞争事务委员表示，2003年到2014年间，苹果公司并未按规定足额缴税 。她质疑道：怎么会有人认为苹果公司2014年在爱尔兰的0.005%税率是合理的 。
欧盟委员会负责为欧盟起草法令 。该委员会遵循的原则是确保各企业在欧洲的公平竞争 。
八月下旬，欧盟委员会宣布将向苹果公司追缴税款 。该委员会称，苹果公司通过驻爱尔兰办事处报告其在欧洲销售的电脑、平板电脑和手机等产品所得收益 。因与爱尔兰政府的税收协议，苹果公司少缴纳了相当一笔税款 。
欧盟竞争委员会不仅调查了苹果公司 。另外还审核了欧盟国家与重大国际企业之间的协议，包括星巴克、菲亚特、亚马逊和麦当劳等 。
苹果首席执行官蒂姆·库克（Tim Cook）拒绝接受欧盟的指控 。他表示，2014年苹果缴纳了4亿美元的税款，苹果公司所缴税款多于任何一家爱尔兰公司 。
该税单不仅在爱尔兰和欧盟引发了恐慌 。就连美国政府也担忧不已 。
乔希·欧内斯特（Josh Earnest）是奥巴马总统的发言人 。他表示，如果欧盟要求苹果公司缴纳这笔税款，那么美国人会因欧盟的裁决受到伤害 。他说，之后，苹果公司将从向美国缴纳的税款中合法地扣除向爱尔兰缴纳的数十亿美元 。
美国财政部认为欧盟的决定是不公平的 。财政部称，近期，欧盟开始针对美国公司进行处罚 。而欧盟委员会否认这一指控 。
9月1日，库克通过一家爱尔兰报社表示，苹果公司将与爱尔兰政府合力推翻欧盟的处罚决定 。他还表示，这一税务裁决是出于政治目的 。
欧盟委员会表示，爱尔兰政府以低税率的条件换取苹果公司在国内的数千个就业岗位 。欧盟委员会坚称，该协议是非法的 。
爱尔兰财政部长迈克尔·努南（Michael Noonan）表示，爱尔兰将对欧盟委员会的裁决提起上诉 。如果该笔税款被成功缴纳，这将成为欧洲史上数额最大的一笔税款 。