What could Apple’s €13 billion in back taxes buy in Ireland?

Five pints of Guinness for everyone in the EU.
Five pints of Guinness for everyone in the EU.
Image: Reuters
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The European Commission ruled today that Apple owes Ireland €13 billion ($14.5 billion) in back taxes covering a 10-year period. It says the tax deals Ireland granted Apple count as illegal “state aid,” and calculates that it brought the company’s effective corporate tax rate down to just 0.005% in 2014. Ireland insists the deal was legal, and plans to appeal. The government has already spent €670,000 battling Europe on the case.

But what would Ireland be able to buy if it keeps that €13 billion? Quite a lot.

This doesn’t even cover the extra €6 billion in interest Apple may also have to pay, according to Grant Thornton. Ireland has said that it’s legally bound to start collecting the money but will put it in escrow until the appeals process is concluded.