Apple has launched a legal challenge to a record $14 billion EU tax demand, arguing that EU regulators ignored tax experts and corporate law, and deliberately picked a method to maximize the penalty. Sonia Legg reports
First to appeal against the Apple tax demand was the Irish government, arguing the EU has no right to interfere with national sovereignty. Next up was the tech giant itself. Its challenge based on claims EU regulators ignored tax experts and corporate law. (SOUNDBITE) INDEPENDENT MARKET ANALYST, DARREN SINDEN, SAYING: "You have this bizarre scenario where the beneficiaries of a $13 billion reward and the country that is paying it will appear on the same side to appeal against that very motion or ruling." Ireland is home to Apple's European headquarters. And the country's tax treatment has allowed it to avoid significant payments. Filings show over the past 10 years, it's paid tax at a rate of 3.8 percent on $200 billion of overseas profits. That's a fraction of the rate in countries where Apple's products are designed, made and sold. The Commission says that amounts to illegal state aid and has ordered it to pay $13.8 billion to Ireland. (SOUNDBITE) INDEPENDENT MARKET ANALYST, DARREN SINDEN, SAYING: "Plenty of companies use the same sort of tactics to consolidate their taxes and reduce the tax within the law to the minimum they can get away with paying. There is nothing wrong with that per se, you may take a moral stance against it but it is within tax law." The appeal will be heard in Europe's second highest court. And Apple also argues it's been singled out because of its success. They have the support of some U.S. lawmakers. And they're hoping a new President Trump may help by bringing in tax reforms.