Moral Low Ground


Apple Agrees to Pay $347 Million to Settle Italian Tax Dispute

Apple Store, downtown San Francisco (Photo: Apple)

Apple Store, downtown San Francisco (Photo: Apple)

California-based computer giant Apple has agreed to pay €318 million ($347 million) to settle a long-running tax dispute in Italy.

The Wall Street Journal reports Apple has reached an agreement with Italy’s fiscal agency following a lengthy investigation of tax fraud allegations. The company was accused of underpaying local corporate taxes by nearly €900 million in the years 2008-2013.

The Financial Times reports there is growing anger in Europe over alleged tax-dodging by leading technology companies and other multinational corporations, many of them US-based. Companies including Google, Amazon, McDonald’s and Starbucks have been accused of shirking tax payments, leading to calls for an international crackdown, restrictions on tax havens and closing of loopholes.

Apple Italia is part of the Cupertino, California company’s European operation, which is based in Ireland, where it enjoys comparatively low corporate tax rates.

The European Commission is currently investigating the tax arrangements of numerous corporations accused of utilizing cross-border structures to lower their taxes, and Apple’s deal in Ireland is part of that probe, the BBC reports.

Earlier this month, Apple CEO Tim Cook blasted accusations that his company was avoiding tax as “total political crap.”

“There is no truth behind it,” Cook told Charlie Rose during an interview on CBS’s 60 Minutes. “Apple pays every tax dollar we owe.”

Apple is the world’s largest consumer technology company. At its peak share price earlier this year, it had a market value of nearly $775 billion.

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