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EU says Apple's Irish tax deal is illegal

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An EU commission has accused Ireland of granting "state aid" tax breaks to Apple that may break market rules. That was the result of an investigation by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) over Irish deals brokered in 1991 and 2007. It has now asked Ireland to provide more information about its tax arrangements with Apple and other companies, including Fiat and Starbucks. The OECD also looking into Luxembourg and the Netherlands as part of a larger probe to find out if certain EU nations help multinational companies swerve taxes. At 12.5 percent, Ireland has a lower tax rate than any other EU country, and Cupertino's complex tax deals there have been questioned before. As the US Senate saw recently, shuffling money around countries helps Apple avoid nearly $20 million a day in taxes -- and the EU seems to have a dimmer view of its strategy than the SEC did.

[Image credit: pieceoplastic/Flickr]

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