Ireland is cheering in favor of Apple in EU state aid tax ruling

By , Nov 10, 2016

Tim Cook angry pissed upset

In August, the European Commission slammed Apple with a tax bill from hell over a sweetheart deal it received from Ireland—which, in the Commission’s view, constitutes “illegal state aid”.

Dublin promptly promised to join Apple’s fight against EU and it’s put its money where its mouth is.

Michael Noonan, Finance Minister in the Irish government, said that Dublin today challenged the EU judgment by submitting an appeal to the European courts in a bid to block the decision, ArsTechnica reports.

“The government fundamentally disagrees with the European Commission’s analysis,” Noonan told EU’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee yesterday. “The decision left the government no choice but to take an appeal to the European Courts and this will be submitted tomorrow.”

He said Dublin was seeking to protect “the integrity of our tax system, provide tax certainty to business” and to “challenge the encroachment of EU state aid rules into the sovereign member state competence of taxation.”

It is no secret that the Irish government doesn’t really want Apple to pay it €13 billion in back taxes (£11.1 billion or about $14.16 billion).

No, seriously—Dublin does not want the money.

Following a three-year investigation and a ruling in August that Apple had received €13 billion in “illegal state aid” from the Irish government, EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said that “EU member states cannot give tax benefits to selected companies—this is illegal under EU state aid rules.”

“The government fundamentally disagrees with the European Commission’s analysis and the decision left the government no choice but to take an appeal to the European courts,” Ireland’s finance minister fired back in September.

Apple, of course, is confident the decision will be overturned.

Apple’s position’s been that it follows the law and pays every cent of the taxes owed “wherever we operate,” likening EU’s ruling to an effort to “rewrite” Apple’s history in Europe, “ignore” Ireland’s tax laws and “upend” the global tax system in the process.

“The Commission’s case is not about how much Apple pays in taxes—it’s about which government collects the money,” Apple originally reacted to the massive tax bill.

U.S. treasury officials have argued that the EU ruling would “constitute a transfer of revenue to the EU from the US government and its taxpayers.”

The Cupertino firm employs more than 5,000 people in Ireland.

Source: Ars Technica

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  • John

    Only the Irish could be against receiving €13 billion.

    • I don’t think it’s that the Irish don’t want €13 billion, I think it’s that they don’t want the EU setting this kind of precedent. The ability for some commission to tell a country not only do we not like the way your have your tax structure but we demand that you charge back taxes as if you’d never done it your way is horrifying and Ireland knows this would destroy their draw for businesses. Taking this money would cost them a lot more in the long run.

    • Verne Arase

      They don’t want the money because most of it would be taken by the EU.

      • John

        Sounds about right. They take people’s national identity away from them so your probably right about the money owed too just to line there own pockets and dictate to ember countries why the EU is so great.