Tuesday 20 February 2018

Ireland referred to EU Court of Justice for failing to collect €13bn from Apple

  • European Commission slams Ireland
  • Ireland says  €13bn tax 'never owed'
  • Department of Finance describes decision as 'extremely regrettable'
  • Ireland facing potential penalty for missing deadline
Ireland faces a rebuke from EU authorities for failing to collect a year-old tax bill worth €13bn from tech giant Apple. Photo: PA
Ireland faces a rebuke from EU authorities for failing to collect a year-old tax bill worth €13bn from tech giant Apple. Photo: PA
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

The European Commission has slammed Ireland for failing to collect €13bn from Apple that Brussels claimed is owed in Irish back taxes.

Ireland says the tax was never owed and is appealing the controversial ruling, but was due to collect the tax by the start of this year and has so far failed to do so.

“More than one year after the commission adopted this decision, Ireland has still not recovered the money,” EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager says in emailed statement.

As a result, the Commission has now referred Ireland to the EU Court of Justice, which could impose a penalty for failing to meet the deadline.

Apple chief executive Tim Cook. Picture: PA
Apple chief executive Tim Cook. Picture: PA

The Department of Finance has described the Commission's decision as "extremely disappointing" in a statement.

"Ireland has never accepted the Commission’s analysis in the Apple state aid Decision," they said.

"However, we have always been clear that the Government is fully committed to ensuring that recovery of the alleged Apple state aid takes place without delay and has committed significant resources to ensuring this is achieved.  Ireland fully respects the rule of law in the European Union.

"That is why it is extremely disappointing that the Commission has taken action at this time against Ireland.

"Irish officials and experts have been engaged in intensive work to ensure that the State complies with all its recovery obligations as soon as possible, and have been in constant contact with the European Commission and Apple on all aspects of this process for over a year.

"It is extremely regrettable that the Commission has taken this action, especially in relation to a case with such a large scale recovery amount.  Ireland has made significant progress on this complex issue and is close to the establishment of an escrow fund, in compliance with all relevant Irish constitutional and European Union law.

"The work on the establishment of the escrow fund to deal with the unprecedented recovery amount will continue, notwithstanding the fact that Commission has taken this wholly unnecessary step."

More to follow...

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