Business Irish

Tuesday 24 April 2018

European Council could issue ruling on Irish-Apple tax case next month, Michael Noonan says

Leeway: Finance Minister Michael Noonan Picture: Tom Burke
Leeway: Finance Minister Michael Noonan Picture: Tom Burke
Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

The Government has no firm information on when the European Commission will rule on the Apple case, but speculation and "rumour" is that it could be next month, Finance Minister Michael Noonan has said.

Speaking ahead of a meeting of Eurozone finance ministers in Luxembourg, Mr Noonan said the Government has cooperated fully and that the Department of Finance and Revenue Commissioners have provided all requested data.

He said there had been speculation that a decision could come next month.

But he added: "That's speculation and rumour. There may be [a decision] before the summer but we're not sure."

A decision on the Apple case has been expected for some time, initially before the end of last year, and more recently, after the general election.

In April, European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said it was difficult to make predictions as to when the case would be ready for a decision.

In a previous response to a question about the timing, she responded by saying "don't hold your breath".

Brussels has accused Ireland of striking a tax arrangement with Apple that was based on keeping jobs here but which gave the company an advantage that amounted to state aid and went against international guidelines.

In October, the European Commission announced in a separate state aid ruling that tax advantages granted to Fiat in Luxembourg and to Starbucks in The Netherlands were illegal.

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