State pays out €7m in fees on €13bn Apple state aid case

The State has to date paid €7.1 million (including VAT) in fees to lawyers and experts in relation to the European Commission's €13 billion ruling on state aid to tech giant, Apple.

According to the latest figures provided by the Department of Finance, legal firm, William Fry has received €3.1m in fees over the past five years concerning its work on the case.

In addition, external counsel have been paid €2.56 million for their work.

According to a spokeswoman at the Dept of Finance, “these figures include costs incurred in relation to the EU Commission’s investigation, as well as the appeal of the Commission’s final decision, and the costs associated with the State’s legal obligation to recovery the alleged aid”.

The spokeswoman said that €3.7m of the €7.1m relates to the recovery process of the monies.

She said “This includes all legal costs, consultancy fees and other associated costs.”

She stated that the fees “have been paid by the Department of Finance, Revenue Commissioners, NTMA, Central Bank of Ireland, Attorney General's Office and Chief State Solicitor's Office”.

The further breakdown of the fees shows that €528,470 has been paid to McCann Fitzgerald and €595,400 to PWC.

The European Commission found in 2016 that the State had granted state aid worth €13 billion to Apple. Both Apple and the State have appealed the commission’s decision.

Last September, the Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe confirmed that Apple deposited in full the €13.1 billion owed in disputed taxes into an escrow account set up by the Government.

In total, Apple deposited a total of €14.3 billion into the account, which represents the full recovery €13.1 billion plus EU interest of €1.2 billion.

Minister Donohoe said at the time: "While the Government fundamentally disagrees with the Commission's analysis and is seeking an annulment of that decision, as committed members of the European Union, we have always confirmed that we would recover the alleged state aid.”

Separately, the Departmen of Finance has confirmed that last year it paid Indecon €438,253 for four separate economic consultancy reports.

The pay to Indecon includes €154,493 on the firm's report on the Taxation of Vacant Residential Property Tax.

In addition, Arthur Cox received €428,718 from the Dept of Finance including €261,413 on advance on the establishment of the Home Building Finance Ireland and €163,612 for ‘banking sector recapitalisation litigation’.

In total, William Fry received €471,175 from the Dept last year that included €347,575 for the firm’s work on the Apple case.

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