Ireland’s finance minister announced that Apple Inc. has completely paid up its due to the country in disputed taxes of €13.1 billion ($21.2 billion) and an interest of €1.2 billion. The country will not hold that money in an escrow fund and await the outcome of its appeal against an EU tax ruling.
In August 2016, Apple was accused by the European Commission of having received tax incentives form Ireland that was unfair. The ruling was appealed against by both Apple and Dublin based on the argument that the tax incentive that was given to the iPhone maker was in accordance with the tax laws prevalent in Ireland and the European Union.
The amount in pending taxes received by the Ireland is enough to finance its health care services for a year.
However the Irish government has contested that it had never granted any company any form of special concessions and the appeal against the ruling of the Commission is critical for maintaining the attractiveness of the country as an investment destination.
“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,” Paschal Donohoe said in a statement.
Last year in may, the finance ministry of Ireland had predicted that the total amount in taxes due and interests could be over billion euros.
The disputed cash would be overseen by investment managers who have been appointed by the Irish government. Such appointment according to Donohoe, would help in making investment decision that have low risks and thereby the Trisih taxpayers would remain insulated from high losses.
After the announcement was made by the Irish government about the completion of the collection of pending taxes from Apple, the Commission has announced that its case against Ireland would be scrapped. The case was started last year on the charges of delay by the country in the collection of the taxes.
“In light of the full payment by Apple of the illegal State aid it had received from Ireland, Commissioner (Margrethe) Vestager will be proposing to the College of Commissioners the withdrawal of this court action,” Commission spokesman Ricardo Cardoso said in an email.
The appeal against the tax related ruling by Ireland has not been accorded priority status and it is now going through the mandatory processes private written proceedings before the General Court of the European Union (GCEU), Europe’s second highest court, said the country’s finance ministry.
It said that the European courts would probably take several years to settle the case.
At the same time, the case against Apple for it failing to pay back taxes to Ireland would be finally closed as the company has paid €14 billion, announced European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager.
“Today Irish Minister of Finance confirmed the full recovery of €14 bn of illegal aid to Apple (unpaid taxes). Good. So we can close the Court action on recovery,” she tweeted.
(Adapted from AFR.com & Arstechnica.com)