There will be no verdict on Apple’s tax affairs, as The European Commission has extended its probe into Ireland’s alleged tax deal with the iPhone maker, reports the Financial Times.
Earlier this fall, Ireland’s Finance Minister Michael Noonan suggested that the EU Commission could issue a ruling on the matter around Christmas. That’s not what happened: instead Irish authorities came up with a set of supplementary questions. Therefore, it will be hard to see a verdict before the 2016 election, expected in February.
The European Commission is investigating whether Apple has inked sweetheart deals with the Irish government, which violates international guidelines. Ireland has vehemently denied the allegations of any preferential treatment, and Apple also deny any wrongdoing.
The lawyers interviewed by the Financial Times reporters however, see this extended probe as a political decision: any ruling of a huge back tax bill — voices say there are billions of euros at stake — could break the balance of power between the parties, just ahead of the 2016 elections.
The final ruling should come very early next year, according to people familiar with the matter.