European Union finance ministers are reportedly lining up to get a hunk of Apple’s tax revenue following a ruling by the European Commission that Apple owes €13 billion (about $14.5 billion) in back taxes.
On Saturday Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem warned Apple on Saturday to “get ready” to pay up. His comment came after a two-day meeting of his EU counterparts in the Slovak capital, Bratislava. The ministers were discussing ways to harmonize tax rules for foreign firms. Dijsselbloem said corporations “have an obligation to pay taxes in a fair way” and that “international tax loopholes are a thing of the past.”
The Commission’s ruling has angered Washington, which accuses the EU of trying to grab tax revenue that should go to the U.S. government. Tim Cook has branded the European Commission ruling “total political crap.” Apple’s CEO also suggested the “retroactive” tax bill was an attempt by the EU to grab taxes owed to the U.S. treasury and harmonize tax rates across the 28-nation bloc.