The European Union has ordered Apple to pay more than $14.5 billion in back taxes to Ireland. According to Tuesday’s ruling, the tech giant received illegal tax breaks from Ireland that allowed it to avoid paying nearly all corporate taxes between 2003 and 2014. Both Ireland and Apple have said they will appeal the decision.
If Apple is forced to pay, exactly how much of a dent would $14.5 billion make on the company’s bottom line?
As of June 25, Apple had $231.52 billion in cash and marketable securities on hand, meaning it may have to shell out about 6 percent of the cash on its balance sheet.
Apple posted nearly $234 billion in annual revenue in 2015, a 28 percent increase from the year before. iPhone sales made up nearly two-thirds of the company’s annual revenue. According to a recent Washington Post story:
Just the tally on iPhone sales, almost $141 billion over the past four quarters, is more than the annual sales figures of Cisco, Disney and Nike — combined.
Put another way, a possible $14.5 billion payment to Ireland would amount to about 10 percent of the company’s iPhone sales in the past year.
For its part, Apple says it’s paid up already: “Apple follows the law and pays all of the taxes we owe wherever we operate,” it said in a statement.
It goes on: “Ireland said they will appeal the commission’s ruling, and Apple will do the same. We are confident that the commission’s order will be reversed.”