Apple Inc said that the European Commission’s investigation into Ireland’s tax treatment of multinationals could have a “material” impact if it was determined that Dublin’s tax policies represented unfair state aid.
The EU began a formal investigation against Ireland in June last year for alleged state aid to Apple and other multinationals in Ireland, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.
The US tech giant said that as of 28 March, it was unable to estimate the impact of having to pay these taxes. “The company believes the European Commission’s assertions are without merit,” Apple said in a regulatory filing on Tuesday.
Corporate tax avoidance has risen to the top of the international political agenda in recent years following reports of how companies like Apple and Google use convoluted structures to slash their tax bills.
In June 2014, the European Commission launched an investigation into Ireland, the Netherlands and Luxembourg over their corporate tax practices, saying it was investigating deals the countries have cut with Apple, Starbucks and Fiat.
The EU is looking at whether the countries' tax treatment of multinationals, which help to attract investment and jobs that might otherwise go to where the companies' customers are based, represent unfair state aid.