Tuesday 13 November 2018

Apple tax bill rises to €5.7m

European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager found that Apple owed the State billions
European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager found that Apple owed the State billions

Gordon Deegan

The bill to the Irish taxpayer of fighting the Apple state aid case has increased to €5.7m (including Vat).

That is according to Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe, who said that €3m of the €5.7m spent relates to the recovery process of the monies.

Last week, the Government selected three investment firms - Goldman Sachs, Amundi and Blackrock - to manage €14bn of back taxes and interest it has been ordered to collect from Apple.

The appointment of the firms will allow Apple to start moving the funds into an escrow account in the coming months.

The State has appealed the European Commission's decision that Apple owes the billions to the State.

In his written Dáil reply to Sinn Féin's Pearse Doherty, Minister Donohoe said that the Apple Tax Aid decision was "an important issue for the State, it will continue to be resourced by the State appropriately".

Minister Donohoe said: "Ireland has never accepted the Commission's analysis in the Apple State aid decision and is challenging the Commission's decision before the European Courts.

"Notwithstanding this, the Government is committed to complying with the binding legal obligations the Commission's final decision places on Ireland.

"The Irish authorities have engaged fully with the Commission throughout the State aid investigation. This involved a significant degree of legal and technical complexity, and additional expertise has been engaged where required."  

Minister Donohoe said that it will likely be several years before the matter is ultimately settled by the European Courts.  Last year, the State spent €2.8m on the case with solicitors William Fry receiving €1.74m of that amount.

Minister Donohoe said that the €5.7m spend "includes all legal costs, consultancy fees and other associated costs. These fees have been paid by the Department of Finance, Revenue Commissioners, NTMA, the Central Bank, the Attorney General's and Chief State Solicitor's Office".

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