Friday 18 August 2017

European Commission say Ireland needs to do more to recover the €13bn tax from Apple or face potential court action

The European Commission has said Ireland needs to do more to recover the €13bn in back taxes from Apple Photo: PA
The European Commission has said Ireland needs to do more to recover the €13bn in back taxes from Apple Photo: PA

The European Commission has said Ireland needs to do more to recover the €13bn in back taxes from Apple or it could face court action.

EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager told CNBC that Ireland is “taking too long” to recover the money. The deadline was early January, but the Department of Finance has said it is working with the Commission and Apple on the issue.

“Although the formal deadline has now passed, it is not unusual or uncommon for Member States to require more time for recovery,” a spokesman for Finance Minister Michael Noonan reiterated today.

"Irish officials are continuing this intensive work to ensure that the State complies with all our recovery obligations as soon as possible, and remain in regular contact with the Commission and Apple.”

But the Commission said today that if EU nations “fail to meet their obligation, the commission may decide to refer them to the EU courts for failure to implement a state aid decision”.

The watchdog said it is aware that recovery can in some cases “be more complex than in others, and thus may require some more time,” but a nation “must demonstrate progress on recovery.”

The money, once collected, is due to be held in an escrow account while challenges to the ruling by the State and Apple work through the EU courts. 

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