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Carthy slams Apple's refusal to appear before European Parliament

1 June, 2018 - by Matt Carthy MEP

Sinn Fein MEP Matt Carthy has slammed the refusal by representatives of Apple to appear before a hearing of the European Parliament's TAX3 committee (special committee on financial crimes, tax evasion and tax avoidance) scheduled for June 21.

Carthy, a member of the TAX3 special committee, said: "Today the TAX3 committee has received a letter from Apple declining our request to the company to appear before MEPs as part of a hearing aimed at examining the revelations related to multinational companies contained in the Paradise Papers leak from law firm Appleby.

"MEPs from across the political spectrum are outraged at this snub from Apple, a company that has many questions to answer. Apple claims the reason it refuses to attend is based on the fact it is appealing the Commission's state aid ruling against Ireland. This excuse doesn't hold water.

"This hearing was aimed at examining the revelations regarding Apple contained in the Paradise Papers, which relate to the company's corporate structure in Europe post-2014 and have nothing to do with the state aid case. By its response, Apple is basically saying it will refuse to engage with elected representatives in Europe until the appeal process is over, which may take several years. So much for its claims of improving its democratic accountability on tax matters.

"The Paradise Papers show that Apple went jurisdiction-shopping after the US Senate inquiry in 2013 and settled on Jersey as a new location for two of its three Irish-registered subsidiaries, and that the Irish government's grace period when announcing the phase-out of the Double Irish allowed it to set up new companies in Jersey, where it can use the Double Irish structure there until 2020.

"The Paradise Papers also showed that the third Irish subsidiary, Apple Operations Europe, then moved its intellectual property onshore in order to take advantage of the capital allowance on intangibles introduced by the Irish government when it announced the phase-out of the Double Irish – which for several years allowed for up to 100 per cent IP-related trading profits to be offset in an accounting period and continues to allow deductions of up to 80 per cent on IP to this day. These revelations suggest the effective corporate tax rate paid by Apple post-2014 continues to be extremely, extremely low.

"I will be pushing for the European Parliament to revoke the lobbying access badges to the European Parliament of all Apple representatives until it changes its approach towards engagement with democratically elected representatives.

"I have also commissioned a study to be published on the day Apple was supposed to appear before MEPs in the TAX3 committee, June 21, that will examine the effective tax rate paid by Apple after 2014, and the company's current corporate structure."

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