Tim-Cook-02-Senate-taxes

Apple’s Irish tax havens and its agreement with the country to pay corporation tax of approximately 2% on earnings have been a big focus of controversy surrounding the U.S. Senate’s investigation into the offshore tax practices of Apple and many other large technology multinationals. Today, Bloomberg reports that EU Tax Commissioner Algirdas Semeta has addressed concerns by calling for an end to “specific incentives to foreign companies or wealthy individuals” attempting to avoid taxation. It could possibly lead to a broader crackdown of the practice in EU nations criticized for their tax policies including Ireland, Luxembourg, Austria, and the Netherlands.

“Some member states have fairly loose or relatively liberal double-taxation agreements with third countries,” Semeta said in a Brussels speech today to the Friends of Europe group. “These very loose agreements actually allow aggressive tax planners to shift their profits through EU member states to third countries and to avoid taxation in general.”