“Apple’s billions in back taxes could cover the entire annual Irish health budget, build about 100,000 homes for the poor or pay off a chunk of the nation’s debt,” Dara Doyle and Peter Flanagan report for Bloomberg. “So why doesn’t the government want the money?”

“Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan on Tuesday vowed to fight a European Commission ruling that could force the world’s richest company to pay it at least 13 billion euros ($14.5 billion), more than twice the country’s entire 2015 corporate tax take and equivalent to about $3,000 for every man, woman and child,” Doyle and Flanagan report. “For the government, though, the stakes are higher. The country’s corporate tax regime is a cornerstone of its economic policy, attracting Google Inc. and Facebook Inc. to Dublin. Even when Ireland was forced to seek an international bailout six years ago, it resisted pressure to change how it taxes companies. While the Apple ruling doesn’t directly threaten the 12.5 percent rate, the government has promised to stand by executives it says are helping the economy. ‘To do anything else, it would be like eating the seed potatoes,’ Noonan told broadcaster RTE on Tuesday, adding a failure to fight the case would hurt future generations.”

“‘It’s all about our reputation,’ said Peter Vale, tax partner at Grant Thornton Ireland in Dublin. ‘It’s not the number that is a problem per se, it is the implication that Ireland engages in some kind of funny business around tax, the idea that we give special deals and so on,'” Doyle and Flanagan report. “The government maintains that even if it were to take the cash, European rules mean it would have to use the money to pay down some of its 180 billion euros of national debt rather than fund spending.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Again, until this is all finally sorted out and the appeals are finished, anyone who decides to set up a business in a European Union member country today is insane.

SEE ALSO:
U.S. Treasury: The European Commission’s retroactive tax demands on Apple are unfair – August 30, 2016
EU demands Apple pay massive $14.5 billion in taxes plus interest – August 30, 2016
Apple CFO Maestri: Despite EU tax ruling, we will continue to invest in Ireland – August 30, 2016
Apple CEO Cook blasts European Commission for ‘ignoring Ireland’s tax laws, upending the international tax system’ – August 30, 2016
European Commission to rule Ireland’s tax arrangement with Apple illegal – August 29, 2016
Ireland prepares for a fight with EU over Apple tax clawback – August 29, 2016
U.S. government warns EU: Do not hit Apple with a massive back tax bill – or else – August 25, 2016
European Commission denies anti-U.S. bias after U.S. Treasury intervention over Apple, Amazon tax probes – August 25, 2016