Ireland doesn’t want Apple’s $14.5 billion in so-called back taxes

“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.

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


  1. See!

    This is why american companies should pay more in taxes. The President of the United States is involve in their case. What law firm in the world has the resources, people power, and experience, not to mention the head guy, working on their behalf would charge nothing for their efforts. Could you imagine what this bill would be from a law firm with these resources. How many years has this case been going on? Man, those billable hours. Yes these corporation should pay high taxes. Mom and pop stores don’t have the president’s ear to this extent. State Department, Justice, Commerce, IRS, … so come on.

    Too bad corporations don’t pay out 80% of their profit every quarter, then governments would be more apt to charge them no taxes. (publicly traded corporation) Plus it would keep these companies from becoming such big targets. Yes, banks should pay 80% of their profits to stockholders. (publicly traded) That would be one heck of an injection into government coffers. No need to pursue corporation for taxes, government will go after stockholders for taxes, much better that way.

  2. As Tech Insider said:

    “The fact that the EU is making a fuss and has contended this agreement, is nothing more than a money grab by the EU (since they are under pressure from other European jurisdictions that have faltering economies).

    In the long run, the EU and European Commission are only damaging their relations with Ireland, which as a sovereign nation has made similar tax agreements with many large companies, in order to benefit Ireland’s economy. And Ireland’s economy has benefited greatly from such agreements.

    By nullifying Ireland’s legal agreement with Apple, the European Commission is encouraging Ireland to do as Great Britain has done, and leave the EU in order to have full control over their own economy.

    Also, by breaking this legal agreement, the European Commission is also encouraging Apple to “walk”, taking its Irish jobs with them, and harming Ireland’s economy. ”

    For a quick payoff they are willing to shoot the job-creating & employee tax paying Golden Goose.

  3. So, how far back in back taxes is the EU claiming? Back to 1980 when Apple started in Ireland, but the EU didn’t exist? Back to 1993 when the EU was established? Back to 1999 when the monetary union was established? Or only back to 2002 when the monetary union came into full force? Or does the EU want to back tax Apple all the way back to the establishment of the Irish Republic?

      1. And that is one of the concerns that I have stated previously. At most, the retroactive assessment should cover the three years since the EU investigation started. Until that point, the EU commission was complicit in the status quo through their inaction.

        The second issue, of course, is whether the EU commission should even try to insert itself into Ireland’s sovereign business. Ireland has found an approach that works for itself, and the EU is treading on dangerous ground when it attempts to impose a different approach.

  4. If Ireland don’t want the money they could give it to the UK government. After all we helped them out during their banking crisis, so they do owe us a favour.

    We need billions of extra money to pay for this ridiculously expensive and drawn out Brexit process 52% of us have voted for. $12bn might even cover a fifth of that.

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