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Crackdown on Apple in Ireland Opens Front on Tax Avoidance War

The European Commission’s crackdown on the deal between Irish tax authorities and Apple Inc. marks an expansion in the growing global war on tax avoidance by multinational companies. Governments that enable it are now a target.

Yesterday, the European Commission said the Irish tax authorities failed to conform to international guidelines when they “reverse engineered” an agreement with Apple to determine the company’s bills. The Commission also found problems with Luxembourg’s treatment of Fiat Finance and Trade Ltd, and a Commission review of Starbucks Corp.’s taxable profits in the Netherlands is expected shortly.