In an exclusive interview with Ireland’s Independent, Apple CEO Tim Cook has stated on the record that he rejects the European Competition Commissioner’s assertion that Apple did not pay sufficient tax in Ireland as “total political crap” and that he believes Ireland is being “picked on” by the European Union in an effort to forcibly harmonize tax rates across the EU without any kind of public discussion.
I think we’ll work very closely together, as we have the same motivation. No one did anything wrong here and we need to stand together. Ireland is being picked on and this is unacceptable.
Cook went on to state that the Commission just “picked a number” from nowhere, and that in the year that Commission alleges that Apple paid only 0.005pc tax in Ireland, the company actually paid $400 million, making it what he believes was the highest taxpayer in the entire country during that year. Cook’s latest comments stem from the EU’s ruling earlier this week that Apple owed €13 billion (~ $14.5b USD) in back taxes to Ireland, stating that the Irish government provided selective tax benefits to Apple — a practice illegal under EU state aid rules. Despite this, Cook emphasizes that Apple will still be pressing ahead with its expansion in Ireland, including a new data center in Country Galway and 1,000 new jobs in its offices in Cork. “I want to be really clear that we are very committed on Ireland,” Cook said.