The U.S. wants to tax all of Apple’s overseas money before the European Union gets a chance.
Apple Pay officially launched in Ireland on Tuesday, and the contactless payment system is heading to Italy soon, too. Currently, Apple Pay is available for Ireland’s boon, Ulster Bank and KBC customers.
The Irish government said Tuesday that it will formally filed an appeal against the European Commission’s judgement that Apple owes billions of dollars in back taxes. The move was expected, and the filing later this week will simply be one step of many in the ongoing fight over Ireland’s treatment of multinational corporations.
The European Union says Apple owes €13 billion (about US$14.5 billion) in back taxes because Ireland gave the iPhone and Mac maker illegal and unfair tax advantages. Apple and Ireland have both condemned the ruling maintaining they acted within the country’s laws, and are planning to appeal the ruling.
It looks like the European Commission (EC) will rule against Apple and Ireland’s tax arrangement. If the European Union (EU) bullies Ireland (via the EC or other proxy) and basically rules that Ireland doesn’t have the sovereign right to set its own tax rates, there is some chance it could be a wedge issue that pushes Ireland to decide to leave the European Union.