Apple shares fall after £11bn unpaid tax ruling

Apple-Store-NYC-700x450.jpgShares in Apple fell yesterday, but only slightly, after the announcement that the company will have to pay €13bn (£11bn) in taxes.

Shares in the tech giant fell 0.77 per cent yesterday, closing the day at $106 a share, having recovered some earlier gains. Investors appeared less concerned about the ruling, with the company’s cash pile estimated to be around $200bn.

Apple faced the new tax bill after the European Commission ruled the tax rate agreed between Ireland and the tech firm amounted to state aid.

The commission said the deal allowed Apple to pay a maximum tax rate of 1 per cent, falling to 0.005 per cent in 2014. The usual rate of corporation tax in Ireland is 12.5 per cent.

“Member states cannot give tax benefits to selected companies – this is illegal under EU state aid rules,” said Margrethe Vestager, European competition commissioner, who investigated the case.

“This decision sends a clear message. Member states cannot give unfair tax benefits to selected companies, no matter if they are European or foreign, large or small, part of a group or not. This is not a penalty, this is unpaid taxes to be paid,” she added.

Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, said that the decision is a “devastating blow to the sovereignty of EU member states” and would have a “profound and harmful effect” on investment and jobs in the EU.

His comments sparked speculation that the UK could benefit following the ruling, by attracting companies to its shores once it has left the EU.