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Ireland must recoup Apple’s unpaid taxes if EU finds that arrangements were illegal – Doherty

21 October, 2015 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has said if the EU finds that Ireland’s tax arrangements with Apple were illegal, then the State must recoup the unpaid tax, as it would with any private or business taxpayer. He was commenting after the EU Commissioner found against the Netherlands and Luxembourg in similar cases and ordered them to recoup up to €30m.

Deputy Doherty said:

“Today’s decision on Starbucks and Fiat in the Netherlands and Luxembourg respectively increases the likelihood that a similar decision will be reached in the investigation into Apple’s dealings with this State. Crucially, the EU has ruled that this tax must be recouped by the two States.

“Minister Noonan has said that Ireland will appeal any against such decision in Apple’s case. It seems we are heading to the ridiculous situation where the State will be appealing against a decision that it is owed tax. Reading through the Commission decision today, it is striking how similar the issues in the cases are similar to the issues we know the Commission is investigating in the Apple case.

“The government is happy to raid pay cheques and social welfare payments for water charges and Revenue are ruthlessly efficient in chasing unpaid tax owed by small businesses or workers, yet it is government policy to refuse to chase this tax bill. That is unjustifiable.

“Apple warned its investors in April that a financial penalty could be looming. They indicated under US law that ‘a material event’ was possible which the Financial Times calculated could mean a fine exceeding $2.5bn. The EU Commission are reported to have suggested the penalty could be over €1bn. Whatever the final figure, it will be a substantial amount of money.

“Yet Minister Noonan says Ireland will appeal against such a ruling that Ireland should recoup taxes owed to it.  There is no logic to this position and I believe all taxpayers should be treated equally including when it comes to chasing their bills.” 

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