Thursday 14 November 2019

No amount too big to recover in EU tax probes

Apple
Apple

Gaspard Sebag

The EU won't limit how much it seeks to claw back from companies including Apple and Amazon that are ensnared in tax probes if controversial deals with national governments are overturned.

The European Commission is currently probing the tax arrangements between Apple and Ireland, alleging that a deal was struck with the computer giant that was based on keeping jobs here but which gave the company an advantage that amounted to state aid and went against international guidelines.

Probes are also taking place into a number of other companies and countries.

Gert-Jan Koopman, the EU official in charge of the unit policing state subsidies that skew competition, said the odds at stake for the companies are massive.

"The concept of too big to fail in terms of recovery doesn't exist," he said.

The EU is seeking to wrap up probes into separate tax deals struck by Apple, Amazon, Fiat Finance & Trade and Starbucks in three EU countries.

The inquiries come amid a global crackdown on corporate tax-avoidance as governments struggle to increase revenue and reduce deficits.

Mr Koopman stressed no final decisions have been made in any of the cases, and wouldn't speculate on the amount of money that could be recovered.

The Department of Finance has stressed there's no case to answer in the Apple case." (Bloomberg)

Irish Independent

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