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Elizabeth Warren raps Apple with fighting words over 'corporate tax dodgers'

The US senator says Congress needs to take a cue from the European Union's $14.5 billion tax bill to Apple.

A protester outside Dublin's parliament buildings shows support for the EU ruling to make Apple pay up.

Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

Senator Elizabeth Warren says Apple's tax troubles in the EU are a reminder that the US needs to fix its corporate tax laws.

Last month, the European Union dunned Apple for $14.5 billion in back taxes for what regulators describe as an illegal tax arrangement with Ireland. It will probably be a long while, though, before Apple might actually cough up those billions, or any fraction of that amount. The California-based company will be appealing the decision, likely joined by the Irish government.

Enter Warren on this side of the Atlantic. In a New York Times op-ed on Thursday, the Massachusetts Democrat lumped in Apple with a whole host of "corporate tax dodgers," calling the EU ruling the "latest sign that multinational corporations are running out of places to hide from paying taxes."

She also called on Congress to take care of things at home and "fix our own corporate tax code, which has allowed the biggest multinationals to shirk their obligations for decades." In the op-ed, she offered steps that Washington can take to set matters right. It's not just about the tax rate itself, Warren said, it's also about protecting American jobs and small businesses.

Apple's European and international headquarters are located in Cork, Ireland. The company has special tax arrangements with the Irish government that critics say allow it to shelter billions of dollars in revenue from taxes. Apple denies such claims.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.