The European Commission has decided to take Ireland to court for a failure on its part to not recover $15.3 billion in unpaid tax due from Apple. The EU had ordered Apple in August 2016 to pay a staggering 13 billion euros ($15.3 billion) in unpaid taxes for the unfair advantage it received from Ireland between 2003 and 2014.
Ireland was given a deadline of January 3 this year to recover the tax due from Apple. The country has refuted EU’s claims and argues that it has not given Apple an unfair advantage. It insists that it had the same tax rules for every multinational company operating in Ireland.
“More than one year after the Commission adopted this decision, Ireland has still not recovered the money,” EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said, adding that Dublin had not even sought a portion of the sum.
The country also said that it never accepted the European Commission’s decision, though it would be collecting money from Apple pending Dublin’s own appeal of the ruling. Ireland has also been in constant contact with Apple and the European Commission since the last one year over this.
“It is extremely regrettable that the Commission has taken this action, especially in relation to a case with such a large scale recovery amount,” the ministry said in a statement.
As per the Commission, Ireland has made progress on calculating the amount due but it only plans to conclude its work by March 2018.
The European Commission’s decision was met with strong criticism from Apple. The company’s CEO Tim Cook called the decision “total political crap,” with even the U.S. government intervening in the decision.
Incidentally, the EU also ordered Amazon to pay 250 million euros in back taxes today to Luxembourg. Like Apple, Amazon is also looking into appealing against the decision.