The EU orders Apple to repay up to $14.5 billion in taxes

The European Commission has ordered Apple to repay 13 billion euros ($14.5 billion) plus interest after it found that the iPhone maker had its tax bill illegally reduced by Ireland, Bloomberg reports. That tax judgment’s massive amount is a record. Bloomberg says the European Union regulator found Apple benefited from a “selective tax treatment” in Ireland that gave it a “significant advantage” over other businesses. Both Apple and the Irish government have already said they will fight the decision.

In a statement released by the European Commission, Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, who is in charge of competition policy for the executive body of the EU, said:

“Member States cannot give tax benefits to selected companies—this is illegal under EU state aid rules. The Commission’s investigation concluded that Ireland granted illegal tax benefits to Apple, which enabled it to pay substantially less tax than other businesses over many years. In fact, this selective treatment allowed Apple to pay an effective corporate tax rate of 1% on its European profits in 2003 down to 0.005% in 2014.”

[Photo: Flickr user m01229