(19 December 2016) – Today, Ireland set out its arguments against a European Commission ruling that tech firm Apple should pay billions in back-taxes to Dublin, claiming the EU executive arm has interfered in state sovereignty.
In September, the Irish government agreed to join with Apple in appealing against the Commission’s order that the US company must pay Dublin up to €13 billion after ruling the firm had received illegal state aid in avoiding paying such taxes.
“The Commission has no competence, under state aid rules, unilaterally to substitute its own view of the geographic scope and extent of the member state’s tax jurisdiction for those of the member state itself,” it claimed.
By the executive’s calculations, Dublin allowed Apple to pay a tax rate of 1% of its European profits in 2003 which dropped to 0.005% by 2014. Ireland immediately said it would appeal the ruling, which was formally lodged in November.
Apple is a valued employer in Ireland, with 6,000 staff in its Cork city campus. Although claiming the tax windfall would boost state coffers, Dublin fears it would ultimately damage the economy by making Ireland less attractive to foreign investors. (EurActiv)