Apple raised lifting the 80% cap with Department of Finance in 2014 – Pearse Doherty TD
Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has said a letter received by him from the Minister for Finance throws new light on to the nature and extent of the lobbying of the Minister Michael Noonan before his infamous decision to remove the 80% cap on writing off of intangible assets introduced in the 2014 Finance Bill.
The letter shows that Apple met Department officials and raised the issue with them.
Deputy Doherty said:
“This letter, on the back of my request for full transparency on how the then government removed the 80% cap on the writing off of intangible assets, throws new light on the extent and nature of that lobbying. It also shows that Apple raised the issue of the changes with department officials during the progress of the Finance Bill that lifted the cap.
“The scale of what we are talking about becomes evident when you consider that the 2018 tax strategy papers show that claims for capital allowances for intangible assets increased from €2.7 billion in 2014 to almost €29 billion in 2015 due to the onshoring of intellectual property by multinational companies. It is believed this huge increase is down to a small number of companies aware of this window being opened as others closed with the biggest beneficiary being Apple.
“The Minister tells us reinserting the cap for 2018 will raise €150m but he is refusing to back date it meaning billions will go untaxed.
“I am more convinced than ever that the 2014 changes which benefitted huge multinationals so much were very much a sop to them as pressure from me and others had seen action on the issue of Stateless companies and the Double Irish.
“I believe this decision was a huge mistake which has now been closed off but not retrospectively meaning it will continue to mean billions of tax will be foregone for years to come. It is not too late to close the gap that has been opened so that the Irish people reap the taxes that any other company without so much lobbying clout would pay in the coming years.”