Friday 20 July 2018

Apple tax case sees Finance run up €2.6m bill on consultancy fees

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe Photo: Fergal Phillips
Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe Photo: Fergal Phillips

Gordon Deegan

The spend by the Government in fighting the Apple State Aid case last year resulted in payments by the Department of Finance to consultants last year topping €2.6m.

New figures provided by Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe show that last year, solicitors William Fry received the highest amount at €1.6m in the total paid out under consultancy.

The law firm has been working closely with the department on the Apple case, where the State currently has an appeal against the European Commission decision that Apple owes the billions to the State.

The figures show that another of the country's best known legal firms, Arthur Cox received €286,960.

The figures also show that consultants, Indecon received €67,121 in the final quarter of last year for 'professional advice', while well known economist Colm McCarthy received €4,920 for work carried out by the department.

In his written Dáil reply to Labour's Alan Kelly on the spend, Mr Donohoe said: "The nature of my Department's work is such that, from time to time, reliance on specialist advice is the optimal route. In using such consultancies, my Department seeks not only to obtain value for money, but to target the best return possible for the State."

Separate figures provided by the Minister show that the spend by his department on consultants is only a fraction of the Revenue Commissioners' spend on IT consultants for last year.

According to Mr Donohoe, the Revenue last year paid Accenture €13.56m and this followed Revenue paying the firm €13.74m in 2016 and €11.1m in 2015.

In addition, Revenue last year paid Deloitte €11.17m and this followed a payout of €7.1m in 2016 and €4.9m in 2015.

In 2017, Accenture had 108 working on Revenue projects while Deloitte had 128 last year.

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