Apple Inc. is facing a potential tax bill running into billions of euros, with the European Union poised to release a finding into the company’s dealings in Ireland as soon as Tuesday, according to people familiar with the situation.
The European Commission decision is expected to say Ireland provided the iPhone maker with illegal aid through a sweetheart deal in return for creating jobs in the nation, the people said on condition of anonymity because the details are confidential. Ireland has vowed to fight any adverse finding.
Such a ruling might heighten tensions between Europe and the U.S. over taxation policies, with the U.S. having already complained that Europe is unfairly targeting American companies and threatening global tax reforms.
In preliminary findings in 2014, European competition authorities said Apple’s tax arrangements were improperly designed to give the company a financial boost. There’s a range of estimates on how much Apple might have to pay. In a worst-case scenario, Apple may face a $19 billion bill if the government ultimately loses and is forced to recoup tax from the company, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. analyst Rod Hall. The Irish Times reported earlier on Monday that the figure might not be much more than 100 million euros ($112 million), although it later revised its estimate upwards.