Apple Tax Probe Won’t Hurt Ireland Says Finance Minister

Ireland Finance Minister Michael Noonan said he expects a ruling on the alleged “sweetheart deals” with Apple and remained positive that the country won’t be affected, reports Bloomberg.


As we previously reported, a preliminary review of the European Commission’s investigation found that Apple’s tax arrangements with Ireland were “illegal.” This was the first stage, while the second stage of the investigation could end with the companies (tech companies that inked “sweetheart deals” with the Irish government) having to pay unpaid taxes.

The European Commission has previously pointed to the tax deal between 1991 and 2007, which favoured Apple. The commission said the Irish authorities conferred an advantage on Apple that was “granted in a selective manner,” but the ruling has yet to be made public.

According to Noonan, Ireland has an “indication” the EU will decide before the end of the year whether the nation’s tax dealings with the iPhone maker violated the bloc’s state-aid rules. “We don’t have a specific date.”

If Apple is found guilty as charged, it will need to pay billions of euros in unpaid taxes.

EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager urged a rapid conclusion to the EU’s probe into Apple’s alleged illegal aid as the EU seeks to eliminate such tax breaks.

Considering that the EU is preparing major moves to make it harder for multinational corporations to avoid taxes in individual countries, Noonan once again underscored Ireland’s willingness to consider new proposals from the EU to level the playing field for corporate taxes. He also insisted that the country must retain a veto over the plans, and it will not give up its rate of 12.5%.