Europe wants a slice of Apple
After a two-day meeting of EU ministers in Bratislava, Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem urged the US technology giant to “get ready” to pay up.
“International tax loopholes are a thing of the past,” said Dijsselbloem, stressing that corporations were obliged to pay taxes in a fair way.
The EU must be sure that international corporations pay the right tax at the right place, according to British Chancellor Philip Hammond.
“That's the fair way to do it, and we are going to make sure it happens,” he said.
Budget-squeezed Spain is next in line to get its share of Apple’s unpaid taxes. The country is currently under threat of an EU fine for breaking spending rules.
“We are making a huge effort to reduce our public deficit, it is essential that this revenue not get lost,” said Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos.
[Yes, politicians, but no outrage over GE paying 0 at home?] 'Unfair' Apple fine sparks angry reaction in Washingtonhttps://t.co/q85fntfVR7— Kris D (@katu01) August 31, 2016
“If it's legally accurate, you can be sure that as minister of finance I will take it,” said Austria's Hans Joerg Schelling, adding that the other countries were also considering the payout issue.
German Foreign Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Berlin was examining the demand as well. Though, much will depend on the exact Commission decision, according to him. Schaeuble plans to clarify the issue with the Commission at talks next month.
Last month, the European Commission ordered Apple to repay Ireland a record €13 billion ($14.5 billion) in unpaid taxes. The tax scheme set up by Ireland and the iPhone maker was deemed to be a sham.
As part of the landmark decision, the EU competition regulator allowed other EU member states to claim an interest in the amount. However, the legality of the claims is still in question.