Wednesday 16 January 2019

Explainer: What Apple's €31bn tax bill means for Ireland

Apple chief executive Tim Cook leaving Trinity College in Dublin.
Apple chief executive Tim Cook leaving Trinity College in Dublin.
Photo: PA Business Desk Business Desk

Apple is set to pay €31bn in tax to the US, most of which was previously held by its Irish subsidiaries.

Why has the tech giant taken the decision and will it have any impact on Ireland?

Why is Apple paying the tax?

The tech giant is paying the tax on cash it is sending back to the US.

Okay, but where had the cash been held?

Most of the cash was once held by Irish subsidiaries.

How much cash does Apple hold overseas?

It is estimated that iPhone maker has about $252bn in cash held in various countries other than the US.

What has brought about the decision?

US President Donald Trump’s decision to cut the country's main corporate rate from 35pc to 21pc will have influenced the decision.

As part of this move, the US President also brought in a cash repatriation tax rate of 15.5pc for one-off cash repatriations.

Will this impact the Irish Government’s ability to collect the €13bn of back taxes from Apple?

There has been no suggestion that Apple’s decision will impact the Government’s ability to collect the €13bn.

The tending process into who will run the account into where the money has to go is in the final stages of completion, and Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe, speaking on Morning Ireland this morning, said that he expects the money to start coming into the account in the second quarter of this year.

Will Apple’s move have any impact on Ireland’s competitiveness?

According to the Finance Minister no.

Minister Donohoe he said that he does not believe that a change like that will affect the competitiveness of all that Ireland has to offer.

"The predicability of our tax code, the level of the rate, combined with everything else our economy and country has to offer will ensure our competitiveness," Minister Donohoe said.

Online Editors

Business Newsletter

Read the leading stories from the world of Business.

Also in Business