Ireland’s Sinn Fein party will pursue Apple if EU finds company owes back taxes

“Sinn Fein has this message for bankers concerned that the party’s rise could threaten the nation’s economic recovery: relax. Analysts from Goldman Sachs Group Inc to Commerzbank AG have said the party’s policies and the possibility it may play a role in government following the upcoming election could derail a recovery from the worst recession in the nation’s modern history,” Joe Brennan reports for Bloomberg. “‘We don’t want to scare off investors and we wouldn’t,’ the party’s finance spokesman Pearse Doherty, 38, said in an interview in a Dublin hotel opposite parliament on Tuesday. ‘We need to have wealth generated in the country.'”

“With an election due within three months, Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny is seeking to portray the campaign as a battle between stability and chaos, represented by Sinn Fein and other left-wing parties,” Brennan reports. “In an interview on Thursday in Davos, Kenny said that Sinn Fein in power could ‘devastate’ the economy, and in March, Goldman Sachs compared the party’s policies to those of anti-austerity Greek party Syriza.”

“In government, Sinn Fein may pursue Apple for the taxes it could owe Ireland should the European Commission find against the company and the government in an ongoing probe, Doherty said. Apple has denied any wrongdoing,” Brennan reports. “Kenny’s administration is ready to fight any adverse decision. The world’s largest company could owe more than $8 billion in back taxes as a result of the investigation, according to Bloomberg Intelligence.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The total political crap continues unabated. Whoopie!

Apple may face $8 billion bill for back taxes after European Commission probe – January 15, 2016
Apple to pay $348 million to settle Italy tax fraud case – December 30, 2015
Apple CEO calls corporate tax rap ‘total political crap’ – December 18, 2015
Think Ireland’s corporate tax is unfair? Wave goodbye to Apple and thousands of jobs if it’s changed – November 14, 2015
Apple announces 1,000 new jobs in Ireland as EU tax ruling nears – November 11, 2015
Apple avoids $59.2 billion U.S. tax bill – October 7, 2015
U.S. companies now have $2.1 trillion overseas to avoid corporate taxes – March 4, 2015
Intel CFO: Obama repatriation tax proposal ‘lipstick on a pig’ – February 4, 2015
Businesses hopeful Republican control of U.S. Congress will break tax-reform gridlock – November 5, 2014
Ireland’s Prime Minister: Apple has nothing to fear from end of ‘Double Irish’ tax avoidance strategy – November 4, 2014
Not in Taxes anymore: On site at Apple’s famous Irish ‘headquarters’ – November 2, 2013
Regan: U.S. tax code spurs loveless foreign corporate ‘marriages’ – May 13, 2014
Ireland to close Apple’s tax loophole, but leave bigger one open – October 15, 2013
G20 think tank OECD proposes blueprint for global crackdown on tax avoidance – July 19, 2013
Thomas Sowell on Apple, corporate taxes, and ‘the road to serfdom’ – May 28, 2013
Taxing Apple just taxes you – May 24, 2013
Don’t tax Apple, tax its shareholders – May 24, 2013
If Apple paid more tax, we might pay less or something – May 22, 2013
Apple CEO Tim Cook pounds another nail into the Keynesian coffin – May 22, 2013
Apple CEO Cook makes no apology for company’s tax strategy – May 22, 2013


  1. Here’s the simple way I look at it…

    Apple followed all the tax laws in place in Ireland (and the other associated countries: Holland, BVI, etc.). Apple paid the taxes the laws said it should. No one to date (not even the EU investigators) have claimed that Apple violated Irish tax laws.

    The EU says that Ireland broke some agreements Ireland has with the EU in the tax laws it passed that allow companies like Apple (not just Apple) to funnel money through Ireland and pay very low taxes — 100% percent legally in Ireland according to the existing laws.

    Now if Ireland is in trouble with the EU because Ireland’s laws don’t live up to some agreement Ireland made with the EU, that’s Ireland’s problem. That’s NOT Apple’s problem. Apple (and others) have been, and continue to be, acting according to the existing laws.

    If anyone needs to pay money to anyone it sure as hell should NOT be Apple.

    There are reasons why “after the fact” laws are a bad thing (and in general forbidden in the U.S.). If Ireland must change its tax laws, it certainly should not be able to change them in such a way that makes currently legal actions by Apple suddenly illegal for the past dozen years resulting in Apple owing billions in new taxes. (Think of it this way, would you want your government to suddenly be allowed to pass a law stating a common and currently legal action that you commonly do, e.g., breathing air, suddenly carries a $100 a day “tax” since the day you were born? This is not that far a stretch from what the EU is trying to do with Apple and Ireland.)

    1. It is not always as simple as that. Some countries, such as the UK have a “GAR” or a “general avoidance rule” so that where a company manages to stay just about within the letter of the laws by operating a highly aggressive tax avoidance scheme that contravenes the law’s otherwise clear intention, the courts can construe the behaviour as contravening the GAR.

  2. Right so a government that does a dodgy deal (if found to be so) with a company to effectively bribe it into setting up its business there at the expense of competitor nations would in a later incarnation expect to get the money back that it missed out on in so doing, having been found to have been guilty in negotiating it in the first place. Doesn’t seem to be any barrier to Governments trying to do like wise does it when they only have their benefits from the investment delayed while the company gains nothing by being duped. Surely any such money should go to the other locations who were bidding for that business and missed out in the first place if illegal deals were shown to have been done. After all they were done by both parties.

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