Apple, Google to Testify in EU Tax Hearing

Apple, Google, IKEA, and McDonald's are all testifying before the European Union's tax committee on Wednesday to answer questions about their tax practices. The hearing is in response to growing EU concern over whether or not international companies are avoiding paying taxes.

Apple faces EU tax hearing Apple faces EU tax hearing 

The hearing will be more of a formality and fact finding event because the tax committee has no authority to change EU tax laws, according to Reuters. The committee is hoping to learn more about the tax deals companies strike with individual countries.

This isn't the first time the companies have found themselves under the EU's watchful eye for tax-related activities. Apple is in the midst of an European Commission investigation into its tax practices, Google has faced several tax-related investigations, and IKEA and McDonald's have been accused of working the system to get out of US$1 billion each in tax payments.

Fiat Chrysler and Starbucks were also asked to testify, but declined to participate because they're currently fighting EC rulings saying they owe millions in back taxes.

Apple has been criticized for using its presence in Ireland and local tax laws to minimize tax liability, which will likely come up in Wednesday's hearing.

Apple has continually asserted it complies with tax laws and pays all that it's required to in the EU and United States. Company CEO Tim Cook has said if lawmakers feel Apple and other corporations aren't paying enough, then new legislation needs to be passed.