US warns EU over Apple tax probe

The US government has warned the European Commission that it is overstepping its powers in its investigation into unpaid taxes from multinational companies including Apple.

Brussels has threatened to demand as much as $19bn ($14.4bn) from Apple for alleged unpaid tax and is investigating whether the company’s deals with Ireland amounts to state aid.

The Commission is set to make a ruling next month on the case and has insisted there is "no bias against US companies" in its investigation.

In a white paper commissioned by secretary Jack Lew,the US Treasury said a ruling against Apple could "create an unfortunate international tax policy precedent" in which the Commission becomes a "supranational tax authority".

The EU has estimated that corporate tax avoidance costs member states between €50m-€70bn (£42.6m-£59.7bn) a year in lost tax revenue.

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