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Apple tax move changes nothing in EU ruling - Pearse Doherty TD

18 January, 2018 - by Pearse Doherty TD


Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has said Apple’s tax move has no impact on the EU’s ruling on State Aid against Ireland. He added that the Minister for Finance’s comments today that the money will start arriving in the escrow account in the second quarter of 2018 represents another slippage in the schedule for payment.

Deputy Doherty said:

“I have no reason to believe the move by Apple to repatriate some profits back to the USA changes anything in the ongoing State Aid case.

"To imply otherwise is either wishful thinking by government or smoke and mirrors. Minister Donohue also today let slip that the time-frame for collecting the money has slipped to the second quarter of this year having previous told the Dáil that it would be collected in the first quarter.

"The Commission’s decision is a clear cut determination that an agreement was made between Apple and the Revenue Commissioners to carve up profits for taxation that were generated in Ireland in a manner which ran contrary to Irish tax legislation.  Nothing has changed in that regard.

"A simple repatriation of the profits would give the US secondary taxing rights and leave primary rights with Ireland and so wouldn't reduce the judgement for Ireland as the US would only get a credit for the €13 billion of Irish tax.

"Ireland will retain primary taxing rights if Apple and the State’s appeal in unsuccessful. Apple will pay the €13 billion to Ireland and they might be able to get a refund of the same amount from the US against the US tax liability in Ireland.

"The recovery process for should be expedited now. There is a real danger that we could end up getting fined by the EU if there are more delays in collecting the state aid.

"The Minister revealed to me this week that the cost of the appeal and setting up the escrow account has now hit €5m. This number will only climb as the Court case approaches.”

ENDS//

Note: Please see PQ to the Minister for Finance below

For Written Answer on : 16/01/2018Question Number(s)209 Question Reference(s): 55082/17Department: Finance

QUESTION

To ask the Minister for Finance the cost to date in appealing the EU state aid ruling on a case (details supplied); the cost to date in the establishment of an escrow account and other costs related to the collection of the €13 billion plus interest from the company; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Details Supplied) in the Apple case

REPLY

The Government disagrees profoundly with the Commission's analysis in the Apple State aid case and is challenging the Commission's decision before the European Courts. The Irish authorities engaged fully with the Commission throughout the State aid investigation.

This involved a significant degree of legal and technical complexity, and additional expertise has been engaged where required. During the investigation, detailed and comprehensive responses were provided to the Commission to demonstrate that the appropriate amount of Irish tax was charged in accordance with the relevant legislation, that no selective advantage was given and that there was no State Aid.

This has continued with the annulment application that has been lodged in the General Court of the European Union. Notwithstanding the appeal in the Apple State aid case and the difference in view between Ireland and the Commission on the issue, the Government is committed to complying with the binding legal obligations the Commission’s Final Decision places on Ireland.

Significant progress has been made on this complex issue and the establishment of an escrow fund, in compliance with all relevant Irish constitutional and European Union law requirements, is close to completion. Officials and experts from across the State have been engaged in intensive work to ensure that Ireland complies with all its recovery obligations as soon as possible.

Over the past four years approximately €5 million (including VAT) has been paid in total, of which approximately €2.5 million relates to the recovery process. This includes all legal costs, consultancy fees and other associated costs. These fees have been paid by the Department of Finance, Revenue Commissioners, NTMA, Central Bank of Ireland, Attorney General's Office and Chief State Solicitor's Office.

This case has involved a significant degree of legal and technical complexity, and additional expertise has been engaged where required. As it is and will continue to be an important issue for the State, it will continue to be appropriately resourced.

For Written Answer on : 16/01/2018Question Number(s)210 Question Reference(s): 55083/17Department: Finance

QUESTION

To ask the Minister for Finance the amount that will be deposited in the escrow account established to hold the moneys recouped from a company (details supplied) following the EU's state aid ruling; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Details Supplied) Apple

REPLY

Notwithstanding the appeal in the Apple State Aid case and the difference in view between Ireland and the Commission on the issue, the Government is committed to complying with the binding legal obligations the Commission’s Final Decision places on Ireland.  

Apple therefore must be deprived of the benefit of the alleged aid and this involves two actions:

  • 1. The calculation of the amount of aid
    2. The process by which Apple are denied this amount of money

The Commission have estimated that this will amount to €13 billion but the precise sum is to be calculated using the methodology set out in the Decision, which is then subject to interest as set out in EU Regulations on the recovery of State Aid.  

These sums will be placed into an escrow fund with the proceeds being released only when there has been a final determination in the European Courts over the validity of the Commission’s Decision.  

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