Apple chief executive Tim Cook says the European Commission ruling that Apple should pay billions of euros in back taxes to the Republic of Ireland is “maddening” and “political”.
He told Irish broadcaster RTE that Apple had not been given preferential tax breaks.
The EU opinion said Apple had been given €13bn of “prohibited” tax benefits.
Talking about the opinion, Mr Cook told RTE: “It Is maddening, it’s unsatisfactory, it is clear this comes from a political place, it does not have any foundation in fact or in law, and regrettably it’s one of those things we have to work through.”
“When you’re accused of doing something that is so foreign to your worth, it brings out an indignation in you, and that’s how we feel. Apple has consistently been about doing the right thing.
“We haven’t done anything wrong, and the Irish government hasn’t done anything wrong.”
“It’s a fictitious number. I ‘ve no idea where the amount came from. It’s not accurate. In that year, we paid $400m to Ireland, and that amount of money was predicated on the statutory Irish income tax rate of 12.5%.”
Apple says that it was the largest corporate citizen in Ireland in 2014.
He said Apple paid income tax on products sold in an additional income taxes on gains in the US, and different European nations to those countries at a rate of 35%.
“In 2014 our global income tax rate was 26.1%,” Mr Cook included.
Moreover, Apple has provisioned “several billion dollars” from its profits in 2014 to be repatriated to the US, he said.
“Right now I would forecast that repatriation to occur next year.”
On Tuesday, the European Commission ruled that Apple’s Irish tax benefits were prohibited.
After a three-year investigation, the Commission said Ireland had empowered Apple to pay substantially less than other businesses, in effect paying a corporate tax rate of no longer than 1%.
Apple said that the decision would be dangerous for occupations.
“The European Commission has started an effort to rewrite Apple’s history in Europe, discount Ireland’s tax laws and upend the international tax system in the act,” the company said.
The Irish cabinet met on Wednesday to discuss the tax opinion. But it did not agree a position, and will meet again on Friday to decide whether to appeal against the determination of the Commission.