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Ireland to Europe: No, Apple doesn’t owe us

Trade
(Image: IDGNS)

8 September 2016

Ireland will join Apple in appealing the European Commission’s finding that Apple owes the country more than €13 billion in back taxes.

The Dail voted 93 to 36 late Wednesday night to file an appeal against the ruling, which came out last week. The Government is now set to ask the EC to reverse its ruling, which said Ireland’s tax treatment of Apple from 2003 to 2014 was illegal and distorted competition.

Ireland could stand to gain €13 billion in tax revenue, but government officials and lawmakers said imposing the award would hurt the country’s reputation as a good place to do business.

After a two-year investigation, the EC concluded that Apple paid just €500 per million in profit in 2003 and that fell to €50 per million in 2014.

Apple employs about 6,000 in Ireland and has vowed not to stop or reduce its investment there as a result of the tax ruling.

“Uncertainty frightens investors and delays investment,” said Minister for Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor.

Opposition TDs objected to the country fighting a ruling that could add billions to the government’s coffers.

“None of that is going to be made available to the poor, hard-pressed citizens of this country, but instead you choose to don the green jersey, roll your sleeves up, and go out to bat for a multinational corporation,” said Sinn Fein’s Louise O’Reilly.

Apple CEO Tim Cook last week called the EC decision “total political crap,” saying both Apple and Ireland had played by the rules.

IDG News Service

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