State has spent €670k defending position in Apple tax case

Finance Minister Michael Noonan has confirmed that the State has spent just under €670,000 on fees to date defending the State’s position in the European Commission Apple tax case.

In a Dáil reply to People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett, Mr Noonan said as the case “involves a significant degree of legal and technical complexity, some €667,000 has been spent to date by my department and the Revenue Commissioners on legal and other services.

“This figure does not incorporate any further legal costs or costs for other services pertaining to the attorney general’s office,” Mr Noonan said. 

Mr Noonan said he was aware of speculation about a possible decision being made next month and said it would strongly defend Ireland’s position.

“In the event the commission forms the view that there was state aid, Ireland is entitled to challenge this decision in the European Courts. 

As the Government has already indicated, we will take that course of action, if necessary, to continue to vigorously defend the Irish position.

Mr Noonan described the case as a priority matter and said Ireland has co-operated fully with the process to date. 

“Detailed and comprehensive responses have been provided to the Commission demonstrating that the appropriate amount of Irish tax was charged in accordance with the relevant legislation, that no selective advantage was given and that there was no state sid,“ Mr Noonan said.

Initial findings by the commission in 2014 said that Apple’s tax arrangements were improperly designed to give the iPhone and iPad maker a financial advantage. 

Estimates of Apple’s potential tax liability if the final decision goes against Ireland and Apple range from hundreds of millions or euro to a high of €19bn.

However, it is not clear what level of monies will be due to Ireland if Apple and the state lose the case. In June 2014, the Competition Directorate of the European Commission announced its intention to open formal state aid investigations into tax rulings provided to a number of companies in some EU member states.


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