“Ireland’s cabinet agreed on Friday to join Apple in appealing against a multi-billion-euro back tax demand that the European Commission has slapped on the iPhone maker, despite misgivings among independents who back the fragile coalition,” Padraic Halpin reports for Reuters. “A government spokesman said that following the cabinet’s decision, it would ask parliament to endorse the legal challenge on Wednesday next week.”
“Finance Minister Michael Noonan has insisted Dublin would fight any adverse ruling ever since the European Union began investigating the U.S. tech giant’s Irish tax affairs in 2014, arguing that it had to protect a tax regime that has attracted large numbers of multinational employers,” Halpin reports. “But at an earlier cabinet meeting on Wednesday he failed to persuade a group of independent lawmakers, whose support is vital for the minority government, to agree to fight the ruling that Apple (AAPL.O) must pay up to 13 billion euros ($14.5 billion) in tax to Dublin.”
“Ireland’s main opposition party, Fianna Fail, also favours challenging Brussels. The government should therefore easily win parliamentary support to appeal against European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager’s ruling,” Halpin reports. “Apple, anxious to defend its own interests, has already said it will lodge an appeal. For Fine Gael, the main Irish coalition party, a broader principle is at stake. It wants to take on Brussels to safeguard Ireland’s decades-old low corporate tax policy that has drawn in multinationals such as Apple, creating one in 10 jobs in what was once an impoverished country.”
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MacDailyNews Take: Go Apple and Ireland! Let the good fight commence!
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