The European Union’s antitrust officials are opening an investigation
Joaguin Almunia is the competition commissioner for the Eu and he says that they are working hard to undermine the kind of tax agreements that companies like Apple have, including setting up international headquarters in Ireland. This is one of the preferred places for tech companies to set their headquarters, due to the extreme tax breaks that are in place for corporate taxes.
In particular, the investigation is going to look at whether or not Apple is receiving special treatment in the company, including their taxes. Irish statesmen believe that there has not been any aid given to Apple, although they admit that the way that their laws are set up could have an impact on them choosing to call the country home.
They will also be looking into Luxembourg and the Netherlands as possible tax havens for major corporations who are looking to evade paying their taxes. The reasoning behind this is that the governments of many European companies, as well as the United States, are missing out on huge amounts of money that they are owed. Companies like Apple have avoided literally billions in taxes thanks to a variety of tactics, all while remaining the most profitable company in the world.
It remains to be seen what will happen with this investigation, although Apple is set to have a very good year, making this an important time for them.
Source: NY Times