By Gordon Deegan
Spending by the Government on its legal appeal against the EU, that Apple must repay Ireland at least €13bn in back taxes, resulted in payments by the Department of Finance to consultants topping €2.6m last year.
New figures provided by Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe show that solicitors William Fry received the lion’s share of the fees, at €1.6m.
The law firm has been working closely with the department on the Apple appeal case.
The figures show that another of the country’s best known legal firms, Arthur Cox, received €286,960 for work it did for the department.
Consultancy firm Indecon received €67,121 in the final quarter of last year for “professional advice”, while economist and media commentator Colm McCarthy got €4,920.
In a written Dáil reply, 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 Mr Donohoe show the Revenue Commissioners spent millions on IT consultants last year. According to Mr Donohoe, Revenue paid Accenture €13.56m, having paid it €13.74m and €11.1m in 2016 and 2015, respectively.
Revenue paid Deloitte €11.17m last year, following payments of €7.1m in 2016 and €4.9m in 2015.