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Apple Appeals European Union’s $14 Billion Tax Bill

Variety logo Variety 12/19/2016 Janko Roettgers
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Apple has officially appealed a ruling by the European Union that would result in a $14 billion tax bill for the company. Apple charged Monday that it was singled out as an easy target, according to a report filed by Reuters.

At the core of the conflict between Apple and European Union officials is the company’s long-standing practice to keep its overseas profits in Ireland, instead of having them taxed in the U.S., or other European countries. Ireland has long been a tax haven for big corporations thanks to comparably low corporate tax rates; the country until recently also didn’t require companies to pay taxes on income generated outside of its borders.

As a result, European Union officials charge that Apple’s Irish tax rate was just 0.005 percent in 2014. Apple paid a total of $3.8 billion in taxes for $200 billion in overseas profits during the last ten years, according to Reuters.

Apple’s practice has been defended by Ireland, with officials charging that other countries were to blame for their own tax loopholes. Apple for its part has said that the E.U. ignored Irish expert opinion in its ruling.

The taxation of overseas profits has recently gotten more attention in the U.S. as well, with companies like Apple pushing President Elect Donald Trump for rules that allow them the repatriation of some of their foreign assets at lower tax rates. Repatriation was reportedly one of the points of discussion brought up between tech execs and Trump during a recent high-profile get-together at Trump Tower.

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