Monday 5 December 2016

If Apple is forced to pay billions in tax, the Government should accept

Ireland is in a vulnerable place when it comes to global tax avoidance, but silver linings beckon, writes Dan O'Brien

Published 10/04/2016 | 02:30

Apple
Apple

When small countries make international headlines it is usually for bad reasons. Last week a small North Atlantic island nation made international headlines. Revelations about the tax affairs of the prime minister of Iceland emerged from the massive Panama Papers data leak. The revelations brought his political career to an end. The saga did not reflect well on Iceland.

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Our North Atlantic island nation was also making international headlines last week because of tax avoidance matters. The issue of the amount of tax multinationals pay in Ireland garnered attention as European authorities slugged it out with their American counterparts on the issue.

Gaining even more attention last week was the entirely separate, and quite extraordinary intervention by the Obama administration aimed at scuppering an attempt by a giant US pharmaceutical firm, Pfizer, to relocate to Ireland in order to cut its tax bill.

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