Total political crap: Apple boss Tim Cook delivers verdict on €13bn tax row

Apple boss Tim Cook has dismissed a €13bn tax demand from the European Union as “total political crap”. The chief executive said anti-US bias might have played a part in the EU’s decision to make it pay the cash to the Irish government. “It’s total political crap. They just picked a number from I don’t know where,” Mr Cook told the Irish Independent, estimating Apple’s average annual tax on its profits at 26%. He said he would fight closely with Ireland to overturn the ruling, which he said had “no basis in law or in fact”.

No one did anything wrong here and we need to stand together. Ireland is being picked on and this is unacceptable

Apple CEO Tim Cook

The EU said Apple must hand over the cash because a deal it struck with the Irish government broke international tax rules. The Irish cabinet is hesitating over fighting the ruling because voters are astounded that it might turn down a windfall which would be enough to fund the country’s health service for a year. But Mr Cook told the paper: “I think that Apple was targeted here. And I think that (anti-U.S. sentiment) is one reason why we could have been targeted.” Nonetheless, in a later interview with broadcaster RTE the company has put aside “several billion dollars” to pay tax liabilities in the U.S. as overseas earnings are repatriated.

It’s maddening, it’s disappointing, it’s clear that this comes from a political place…. When you’re accused of doing something that is so foreign to your values, it brings out an outrage in you

Tim Cook, in his RTE interview