Apple chief Tim Cook has gone on the offensive against a "maddening" tax ruling imposed by the European Commission which puts it on the hook for as much as $13bn in back dated tax.
Responding to the ruling Cook has said Apple will repatriate some of its gigantic cash reserves back to the United States from next year and issued a spirited defence of his company’s agreement with the Irish government which enabled it to minimise its tax bill.
Speaking to RTE Cook said: “The finding is wrongheaded. It’s not true — there wasn’t a special deal between Ireland and Apple. When you’re accused of doing something that is so foreign to your values, it brings out outrage in you.”
In an interview with the Irish Independent Cook was even more explicit, dismissing the ruling as "total political crap".
The spat has opened up tensions between the US and Europe with officials on the other side of the pond adamant that the European Commission has no right to meddle in the tax affairs of a sovereign nation.
Both the Irish government and Apple deny any wrongdoing and have pledged to appeal against the ruling but Apple will nevertheless set aside the amount demanded in an escrow account.
“I think we’ll work very closely together, as we have the same motivation. No one did anything wrong here and we need to stand together. Ireland is being picked on and this is unacceptable," Cook said.