Apple is to be investigated for its European tax dealings.
According to RTE, the European Commission has opened up an in-depth investigation into the methods Apple uses to avoid paying higher tax in the region.
In particular, the investigation will centre on alleged tax reductions offered to Apple by the Irish government. Apple’s dealings with Ireland enabled it to pay just 3.7 percent on its non-US income last year.
Meanwhile US Congress reports issued last year revealed that the company’s Ireland-based subsidiary earned $22 billion in 2011, but payed just $10 million in taxes.
It’s estimated that this Irish subsidiary holds 60 percent of all Apple’s considerable profits.
Apple has refuted any claims that it has received any special treatment from Ireland on matters of tax. "We have received no selective treatment from Irish officials," read an Apple statement. "Apple is subject to the same tax laws as scores of other international companies doing business in Ireland."
For its part, the Irish Department of Finance claims that it is "confident that there is no state aid rule breach in this case and we will defend all aspects vigorously."
"The Irish corporate tax system is not at issue," it continued, "the enquiry relates to the application of the rules in one particular case."
The Irish government backs up Apple’s denials, claiming that the American company "did not receive selective treatment and there was no ‘special tax rate deal.’"
This investigation comes at a time when the G20 nations are specifically focusing on tackling corporate profit shifting.
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