Apple will launch a legal challenge this week to a record $14 billion EU tax demand, arguing that EU regulators ignored tax experts and corporate law and deliberately picked a method to maximize the penalty, senior executives said.
Apple's combative stand underlines its anger with the European Commission, which said on Aug. 30 the company's Irish tax deal was illegal state aid and ordered it to repay up to 13 billion euros ($13.8 billion) to Ireland, where Apple has its European headquarters.
European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, a former Danish economy minister, said Apple's Irish tax bill implied a tax rate of 0.005 percent in 2014.
Apple intends to lodge an appeal against the Commission's ruling at Europe's second highest court this week, its General Counsel Bruce Sewell and Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri told Reuters in an interview at the company's global headquarters in Cupertino.
The iPhone and iPad maker was singled out because of its success, Sewell said.
"Apple is not an outlier in any sense that matters to the law. Apple is a convenient target because it generates lots of headlines. It allows the commissioner to become Dane of the year for 2016," he said, referring to the title accorded by Danish newspaper Berlingske last month.