US implores EU to drop Apple's Irish back taxes

Ahead of antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager's decision on the probe...

US implores EU to drop Apple's Irish back taxes

US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew. Picture by: Carlos Giusti / AP/Press Association Images

US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew has contacted European Union antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager to ask her not to order any collection of back taxes from Apple in Ireland, according to Bloomberg.

The pair are set to meet this week ahead of Vestager delivering her final verdict on the probe into Apple's Irish tax affairs. 

Bloomberg has said that people familiar with the case revealed that Vestager's team has reached two possible scenarios on how much tax Apple owes in the country.

She has denied that she is turning the spotlight specifically on US firms, arguing that such tax probes fall within her responsibilities as an EU fair competition watchdog.

Earlier this month, Finance Minister Michael Noonan had hinted that the European Commission's judgement in its probe into Apple's tax payments could be delayed in light of the Brexit vote.

The Irish Independent reported him as telling the Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform: 

"An adverse finding with large arrears against a major American company operating in Europe – it may not be a road that will be travelled in July.

"There will be an adjudication in due course, and when we find out what the adjudication is – if it's adverse, it will be accompanied by a suggested amount of arrears to be paid by the company."

The State has spent €670,000 fighting the case to date, though it may be entitled to arrears should the findings go against the Government and Apple.

Both parties have pledged to appeal a ruling that would require the tech giant to pay billions of euro in back taxes.