The EU’s demand for Apple to pay billions in ‘dodged’ Irish taxes is triggering further moves to crack down on corporations
The European Union’s ruling that Apple Inc should pay more than €13bn in “unpaid” taxes to Ireland (plus interest) has set off a spate of efforts in both the US and Europe to close or at least shrink global tax havens used by corporations to stockpile profits.
For some, the case has seemed like either unfair hounding of Apple and/or undue meddling in the tax policy of a sovereign nation.
In reality, Apple’s tax bill is the latest episode in a long history of corporations’ scouring the globe to find the best way to protect profits from taxation. What’s changed is that in the EU the competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager has been looking closely at what are called “sweetheart” deals between some EU countries and big multinational companies.
In the past two years, Apple, Google, Starbucks and...