Earlier today we posted a report titled "Ireland's Sinn Fein Party Says it will Pursue Apple for Taxes Owed if the EU Commission finds them Guilty later this Year." Before we were even able to blink, the news of Apple's CEO pushing back hard against a European tax investigation was in progress. It's been reported on many occasions that the EU Commission could force Apple to pay more than $8 billion in back taxes.
A new BloombergBusiness report this afternoon notes that "Apple's CEO met with the European Commission's antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager in Brussels on Thursday to press the company's case. After the meeting, Cook sent out a tweet highlighting figures showing that the company's products support more than 1.4 million jobs across Europe," which mildly came across as some form of threat.
Meanwhile, government officials on both sides of the Atlantic have come to the company's defense to lobby against a penalty. U.S. lawmakers have weighed in. The top members of the Senate Finance Committee, the panel in charge of writing tax code, wrote a letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew last week urging him to lobby European regulators against imposing a penalty on Apple and other U.S. companies that have been caught up in a wide-ranging investigation into tax avoidance.
Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny also defended its relationship with Apple on Thursday, calling the claims the country is a tax haven "false and baseless." If Ireland is found to have traded a special tax deal with Apple in exchange for a pledge to creating jobs in the country, it could be forced to recoup the billions of euros in back taxes.
The European Commission contends that Apple's corporate arrangement in Ireland allows it to calculate profits using more favorable accounting methods. For more on this story, see the full BloombergBusiness report here.