Could Europe’s tax fight with Apple affect other businesses?

A new iPhone 7 without a headphone jack may be turning consumers’ heads, but global businesses might consider looking more closely at another recent development from Apple Inc. — the €13-billion in back taxes that Europe is trying to bite away from the company.The bill, which amounts to approximately $18.9-billion (Canadian) in back taxes and interest, comes from a ruling by the European Commission (EC) that may have implications for other companies engaged in global commerce.

The EU’s salvo against Apple is part of a worldwide effort that began several years ago, seeking to crack down on “base erosion and profit shifting,” or BEPS. The crackdown has been slow – the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) came up with a 40-page Action Plan back in 2013, when its member countries met in St. Petersburg, Russia – but it’s steady and it’s evolving. By last October the OECD’s initiative, …