EU to decide within months on probe into Apple Ireland
The European Commission said probes into the tax arrangements of Apple and three other multinationals are at an advanced stage and decisions could be announced within months.
Brussels has accused Ireland of striking a tax arrangement with technology giant Apple that was based on keeping jobs here that gave the company an advantage that amounted to state aid.
The Government here has repeatedly said there is no case to answer. The investigations centre on Luxembourg's tax rulings for online retailer Amazon and carmaker Fiat Chrysler, as well as coffee chain Starbucks' deal with the Netherlands and iPhone maker Apple's Irish arrangements, and whether the companies are paying a fair share of tax.
"The cases are advancing very well. I expect decisions to be taken in the not so distant future," said Gert-Jan Koopman, deputy director general at the commission.
European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said last month she would not be able to meet a second quarter deadline as targeted and would not set another deadline for her decision.
The global financial crisis and cash-strapped governments have spurred a crackdown on tax avoidance and prompted complaints that deals which help companies cut their tax bills to a minimal level may give them an unfair advantage in breach of EU rules. (Reuters)