According to Law360 the European Commission’s probe into Apple, which resulted in an order for the tech giant to pay up to €13 billion ($14.5 billion) in back taxes to Ireland, was prompted by a U.S. Senate investigation, European Union Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said on Friday.
Speaking to an audience at the Copenhagen Business School, Vestager said it was a Senate investigation into Apple Inc. and U.S. transparency rules “that tipped us off” that the company might have received illegal state aid. Vestager’s comments come after the EC in late August announced its order for Apple to pay Ireland $14.5 billion in back taxes, plus interest, a decision the Irish government has said that it will appeal.
“The story of the Apple investigation began in the United States,” Vestager said. “Because the U.S. Senate cares as much as we do about making sure companies pay their fair share of tax.”
While Vestager did not specify which Senate investigation prompted the EC to launch its own probe into Apple, the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations in 2013 held a hearing on what it called its “examination of the structures and methods employed by multinational corporations to shift profits offshore.” Witnesses included representatives from the Department of the Treasury, the Internal Revenue Service and Apple, according to the subcommittee.
Read more at: Tax Times blog