Apple, the world’s largest information technology company, has blamed an alleged €13bn tax shortfall on a bug in its latest operating system. After a 3 year investigation, the European Commission concluded that the US firm’s Irish tax benefits were ‘a bit dodgy’.
“We used a gaming app called 'Monster Tax Killer', but it developed a glitch with our new iOS 9 update,” said Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri. “Rather than correctly stating that we owed ‘€13,145,487,594’ it erroneously computed ‘€0’ with a huge thumbs up icon. Unfortunately, our usually reliable knowledge navigator, Siri, made a similar kind of error. When we asked ‘how much should Apple Inc pay The Irish Tax and Customs Office?’, the intelligent virtual assistant responded, 'I don’t do knock-knock jokes'".
Apple did not say when it expects to the release the software update to address the bug, other than ‘soon’. However, the corporation did announce the arrival of Monster Tax Killer 2: a location-based virtual reality game, similar to Pokemon Go, but with the object of capturing tax inspectors, rather than a rare Pikachu.
Meanwhile, the US treasury said the latest ruling could ‘undermine the mobile gaming experience, erode the integrity of in-app purchases and force a relentlessly victimised multinational, with a stock market value of $600 billion, to pay a corporate tax rate of more than 1%’.
“Why are we constantly being persecuted in this way?” sobbed a tearful and despairing CEO Tim Cook.
After clearing his throat from a trapped morsel of lobster, he continued, “in 2014, we paid an effective tax rate of 0.005% on our European profits. This was peanuts to us, but enough to plug a hole in Ireland’s social welfare bill. Now imagine if we had reinvested that money in iOS 9. Then ask yourself this question: would you rather have unwarranted benefits for the sick, elderly and disabled or a bug-free operating system on your smartphone? And what about Google? Those techie bastards really take the piss. Right, I’m off to Starbucks and God help anyone using an Android.”