The European Commission has ruled thatÂ Apple owes Ireland â‚¬13 billionÂ ($14.5 billion) in back taxes covering a 10-year period. It says the tax deals Ireland granted Apple count as illegal â€œstate aid,â€ and calculates that it brought the companyâ€™s effective corporate tax rate down to just 0.005% in 2014.
Ireland insists the deal was legal, and plans to appeal. The government hasÂ already spent â‚¬670,000Â battling Europe on the case.
But what would Ireland be able to buy if it keeps that â‚¬13 billion? Quite a lot.
- Itâ€™sÂ 7% of Irelandâ€™s economy
- 6% of its government debt
- 32,321Â new homes in Dublin
- Irelandâ€™s total health careÂ budget for 2016
- One-and-a-half times the nationâ€™s education budget
- 13 times its defense budget
- 684,000 Hyundai Tucsons (theÂ best-selling carÂ in Ireland)
- Roughly 500-700km (310-430 miles) of high-speed rail, based on currentÂ projects in FranceÂ (pdf, p.7)
- Half theÂ market value of CRH, Irelandâ€™s biggest company
- 2.6 billion pints of Guinnessâ€”roughly one-and-a-half times theworldâ€™s annual supply, or five pints for everyÂ person in the EU
- 20 million iPhone 6â€™s from theÂ Irish Apple storeÂ (more than four for every person in Ireland)
- Enough to send every Irish teenager to Cambridge University for three years and have some change
This doesnâ€™t even cover theÂ extra â‚¬6 billion in interestÂ Apple may also have to pay, according to Grant Thornton. Ireland has said that itâ€™s legally bound toÂ start collecting the moneyÂ but will put it in escrow until the appeals process is concluded.