How much tax does the commission say Apple paid? The ruling, he said, would have a "profound and harmful effect on investment and job creation in Europe".
The world's most profitable company, Apple, has been ordered to pay NZ$20 billion in unpaid taxes to Ireland.
It is the second time this year Cook has taken a highly complex, controversial issue mired in political trip wires and written directly to customers and shareholders to publicly defend his company's stance. The company stated that it is going to appeal as well, and they are confident that the decision will be overturned.
"The IRS has failed to stake a claim for U.S. taxes on those revenues", he said in a statement, referring to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. Yet the strategy of writing directly to the public, rather than relying on spokespeople or industry groups to address the topic, could at least help Cook shape the debate.
It was these Senate findings that likely gave the European Union the idea to open its investigations into the elaborate tax structures used by many multinationals that contribute to their extraordinary success, according to Daniel Shaviro, a professor of taxation at the New York University's law school.
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Since the findings of the investigation were announced, both Apple and Ireland have said they plan to appeal the commission's conclusion.
The White House has termed the European Commission's order for tech giant Apple to pay 13 billion euros in taxes to Ireland as unfair.
Apple said it paid a total of $800 million (€718.6 million) of tax on European profits routed through its Irish entities in 2014, disputing a key element of the European Commission's case that it received selective tax advantage in Ireland.
Prior to the decision, both Lew and USA legislators said that these cases call into question "bilateral tax treaties negotiated with EU Member States", and that the cases "could undermine US tax treaties with EU Member States".
"The opinion issued on August 30th alleges that Ireland gave Apple a special deal on our taxes".
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The ruling is that Ireland allowed Apple to organize its business in a way that allowed it pay substantially less tax than other businesses and that this is illegal under European Union state aid legislation.
Apple creates jobs in Ireland.
The European Commission stressed that it is not imposing any fine on Apple but does require the restoration of equal treatment with other companies through the repayment of tax that is owed.
Finally, the Commission added that while Ireland is expected to recover the tax, it may not get the whole 13 billion: if any other country is found to have made similar illegal state aid offers they may also be forced to claw back some of this overall amount.
The company has argued that moving to a low-tax jurisdiction would reduce the high rate of foreign tax imposed on income being repatriated to Australia to pay dividends.
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