While the probes are in their early stages, because the EU is targeting alleged illegal "state aid," a final ruling against the tax deals could result in back taxes owed by Apple, Fiat, Starbucks Corp. and other companies. In a letter to the Irish government published Tuesday, the European Commission, the 28-member bloc's central antitrust authority, said it had reached the "preliminary view" that tax deals struck in Ireland in 1991 and 2007 in favor of Apple constituted state aid.
"Through those rulings the Irish authorities confer an advantage on Apple" that is "granted in a selective manner," the commission wrote.
Apple paid less than €20 million a year in taxes in Ireland for the years from 2010-2012, noted the letter. In 2013, Apple set aside $12 billion for taxes on sales of $62.7 billion in the U.S.; however, it only set aside $1.1 billion for foreign taxes on sales of $88 billion outside the U.S.
More details in the full report below...