NTMA extends Apple multi-billion euro tax fund deadline

“The National Treasury Management Agency has extended the deadline on a tender process aimed at securing an escrow agent for Apple’s disputed, multi-billion euro tax fund and amended a key condition that would have limited the number of eligible candidates,” Gretchen Friemann reports for The Irish Independent. “The deadline is now September 29.”

Friemann reports, “Apple is expected to funnel up to €15bn into the fund with the cash held in escrow as it, along with the Government, appeals the EU Commission’s ruling that Apple received €13bn in illegal State aid.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Anyone who starts a business in an EU country while these sort of shenanigans are occurring is batshit insane.

Is Ireland its own country or merely a vassal state to a quasi-governmental political confederation that’s already been hit with one very significant defection?

The EU’s retroactive tax grab is a farce.

Ireland opposes EU’s 13 billion euro Apple tax grab, calls it unjustified – August 17, 2017
Apple close to deal protecting Ireland in fight over EU tax grab – August 11, 2017
Ireland seeks custodian for Apple $15.2 billion in back taxes as collection nears – July 22, 2017
EU Commissioner Vestager: Ireland ‘taking too long’ to recover Apple tax – May 19, 2017
EU’s hypocritical Margrethe Vestager going after Apple while backing Madeira tax avoidance scheme – February 14, 2017
Apple has missed the deadline to pay $13.9 billion to Ireland in illegal tax benefits – January 31, 2017
Apple CFO Maestri: What the EC is doing here is a disgrace for European citizens, it should be ashamed’ – December 19, 2016
Apple’s EU tax nemesis Margrethe Vestager takes aim at other U.S. companies’ offshore profits – September 19, 2016
The ‘Brexit-Apple’ connection: What in the world was Margrethe Vestager thinking? – September 12, 2016
EU ministers line up to take tax bites out of Apple – September 12, 2016
Former EU competition commissioner: Vestager claim that Apple owes back taxes an incorrect use of EU law – September 2, 2016
Irish government to fight EU on Apple tax – September 2, 2016
Treasury accuses EU of trying to steal U.S. tax revenues with Apple decision – September 1, 2016
Irish residents opposed to EU’s tax demand of Apple – September 1, 2016
Apple Inc. pushes back against EU tax grab – September 1, 2016
Apple may repatriate billions of dollars next year after new U.S. President takes office – September 1, 2016
U.S. tax code allows for dramatic retaliation against EU overreach in Apple case – September 1, 2016
Apple CEO Tim Cook on EU tax demand: ‘No one did anything wrong here and Ireland is being picked on… It is total political crap’ – September 1, 2016
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
U.S. government warns EU: Do not hit Apple with a massive back tax bill – or else – August 25, 2016


  1. What EU is doing is worse then India as far as retrospective tax is concerned. Disgusting. If what Apple did is wrong then close the loop holes and then charge a valid tax (and we people pay for it with higher prices). EU wants to have its cake and eat it, and for what??

    1. “Is Ireland its own country or merely a vassal state to a quasi-governmental political confederation that’s already been hit with one very significant defection?”

      Had Felonia von Pantsuit been elected, you would have seen the United States added to that “vassal state” list. Donald Trump has saved American sovereignty from this cartel of unelected bankers and bureaucrats.

      1. Don’t be ridiculous. The USA was never invited to join the EU and would never be invited.

        The EU is similar in some ways to the United States with a central government with specific powers and state (national) governments with broad scope to legislate for their own people.

        You could consider Ireland in the EU like Florida in the USA. The EU is, effectively, just a federation of states just like the USA.

        In this case, Ireland failed to comply with EU tax law and was slapped down as a US state might be slapped down if it failed to comply with federal laws. In effect, Ireland was cheating its fellow EU members by using illegal tax discounts to attract corporations. While US states have a lot of latitude to compete with each other for business investment, they cannot offer a new business a reduction in federal taxes, which is what Ireland effectively did.

        Ireland and the EU are in dispute about this issue and it will be determined by an EU court. In the meantime Apple has to pay the amount in question into an escrow account until the court makes a ruling.

        The wider issue, now attracting attention from the European courts is the use of transfer pricing and tax havens by US (and other but mainly US) corporations to fiddle their books so that they pay no tax, or minuscule amounts of tax in EU countries. At present, these corporations have an unfair advantage over local competitors who must pay taxes while the US corporations do not. It would be like a Chinese car company opening a factory in the US and artificially inflating the cost of components so that the profit was all made in China and they paid no US taxes.

        Apple is a major offender in this area. And while Apple might say they have a right to arrange their affairs to minimise their taxes, the EU has the same view you would have towards the Chinese car manufacturer example I just gave. The laws will be changed to ensure that Apple, and others, pay the same rate of tax to the EU on their EU business as they pay the US tax authorities on their global business.

        Americans are very quick to accuse other countries of unfairness but every country needs its taxes and the EU is just ensuring that they get their fair share.

        1. Read “North American Union” ..the whore sister to the EU. Same thing, based on the same premise: destroy national sovereignty through unchecked immigration, through destruction of national cultures and values, through unrepresented taxation.

          same bankers, same bureaucrats, the same shit.

          PS: Macron has just called for an EU military force, of the millions of military-age desperate muslims, I bet they find some “volunteers.”

  2. MDN Take: Anyone who starts a business in an EU country while these sort of shenanigans are occurring is batshit insane.
    The EU economy is currently the second highest behind only China. The US is third.
    Unemployment is currently at its lowest level notwithstanding the poor performance of Greece and Spain who have their own fiscal problems related to past failures to maintain a cap on public borrowing.
    The “significant defection” – the U.K., is currently bottom of the EU heap in GDP growth and the prospects are even grimmer when it’s largest market, the EU, is no longer a prospect for exports.
    Yes Eire is an independent country who agreed to the trading and taxation rules concomitant with membership of the Eurozone. It has yet to be established if they transgressed those rules.
    The hubris and bat shit craziness are all yours MDN.
    As for botty – bat shit crazy isn’t even close.

    1. Yes, dear oh dear, MDN is famous for its excessive jingoism…. I guess the EU is becoming an anti-America and this is causing some tetchiness stateside. Instead of Trump, the EU has mother Merkel who is humbly trying to dodge the tag of Leader of the Free World while the orange man throws tantrums at the world’s other infantile leader who returns the favour. There are few guns in Europe and black people can walk the streets without fear of being murdered by the police, or anyone else. European rail, road, air and other infrastructure is well maintained and efficient. The US has neglected its infrastructure for years and a huge percentage of bridges, for instance, are in a questionable state. In the EU, Global warming is not only accepted but work is well underway to reduce emissions and deploy renewables. Wages are high in the EU because unions are strong and employment laws and minimum wages are engineered to protect the workers, whereas in the US the unions have been shattered and the focus is on the profits of the employers, and wages are low, medium income is very low compared to the EU and of course health insurance is considered a right in the EU while Americans can’t make up their mind whether poorer Americans should have access to health insurance.

      The US led the world for a long time. Not necessarily very well, but nevertheless they did. They aren’t at the moment and that is not just because of the clown in the White House but mostly because the US has failed to keep money out of politics and American democracy has become a kleptocracy where government policy is bought and paid for by political donors.

      Yes, the EU is to the political left of the USA. But so is almost every other nation in the first world. You have to go back to the New Deal to discover a time when the US cared about ordinary people enough to legislates on their behalf. Perhaps Kennedy a bit too.

      Americans should stop looking at the EU as an opponent and see, instead, the kind of state where people with talent can still make a fortune and ordinary people can have a really good life.

      1. MDN is supremely pro-Apple just as I like it so to criticize MDN for being so is like Alfredo criticizing Don Corleone for being behaving like the Don. Alfredo got whacked.

  3. But the US also has a history of charging people for doing stuff that was legal at the time but it made illegal only afterwards. To wit, The US charged whistleblower “Jeffrey Sterling for Retroactively Classified Documents about Rotary Phones,…” It charged him under the WWI Espianage Act which, by the way, Obama used as many times as all previous presidents combined. So this retroactive gambit is not used in the EU only. As far as I can tell, Apple used exing laws to its advantage in Ireland just as any Capitalist country would. This is what Capitalists do. Change the laws first and then charge a company only if it violates the law afterwards. This would be fair and equitable.

    1. John,

      The dispute here is precisely over whether what Apple and Ireland did was legal at the time. The European Commission argues that its preexisting treaty framework prohibited deals like Apple struck with Ireland. If so, the deal was invalid. I don’t practice law any more and never practiced European law, so I will just have to wait for the final court judgment on this along with everybody else.

      The fact that it was apparently legal under Irish law does not matter… any more than the existence of state laws in the USA requiring segregation well into this century. They all became unenforcible as a practical matter back in 1954 when they were declared in contravention of the US Constitution, even if they were still on the books in 2004 (some still in 2017):

      It is the nature of a treaty (like a contract) that both parties give up some of their freedom of action in pursuit of a common goal. That is why the US Constitution includes treaties as part of the “supreme law of the land.” Membership in the EU has completely transformed the Irish economy and society, but they can’t expect to get all those benefits and not live up to the obligations of membership.

      1. Fair enough, TxUser, but Apple engaged in a good-faith contract with Ireland. If Ireland is found to have violated EU law, then Ireland should address the consequences as the guilty party. Passing it on to Apple retroactively is ridiculous. Can Apple go back ten years and change its infrastructure investments in Ireland?

        Furthermore, the EU took way too long to declare Ireland’s laws in violation of the EU’s treaty framework. That is the fault of the EU and Ireland, not Apple. A retroactive penalty is inappropriate in this circumstance. At the very most, I would support the modified tax structure starting at the point at which the EU officially declared the Apple-Ireland deal to be illegal. That was the first point at which Apple could begin to revise its business model to take into account a changed tax structure in the country.

        Taxes need to be paid, and tax revenues combined from all sources need to match spending. If businesses tax rates are going to be cut in the U.S. under an as-yet poorly defined tax reform plan, then individuals will, by necessity, be forced to pick up the slack. As a result, wages should increase by a commensurate amount. I repeat, the taxes have to be paid. You would think that the party priding itself on fiscal conservatism would understand something as simple as a balanced budget. Instead, the GOP appears to be doubling-down on supply side, trickle-down economics in which reduced tax rates are transformed into robust economic growth that magically compensates for the tax rate decrease and brings the budget into balance. Given the current tax rates, this is a pipe dream.

      2. If indeed “The dispute here is precisely over whether what Apple and Ireland did was legal at the time,” then, just based on this assertion, the onus to pay any penalty falls on Ireland alone since Apple was dealing with Irish law, not EU law and it would have been up to Ireland to fill in any tax deficit.

      3. Again, I’m not expressing an opinion about whether what Apple and Ireland did violated a valid preexisting EU requirement. However, I can assure you that Apple cannot hold Ireland responsible for what happened.

        There is a well-known legal principle that goes back to at least Aristotle: “Ignorance of the law is no excuse.” The issue in both civil and criminal law is whether the defendant knowingly did something that was, in fact, illegal. It is never a defense that the defendant was mistaken about what the law required or prohibited. There is an irrebuttable presumption that everybody knows what the law requires. Otherwise, there would be no way to hold anybody responsible for a breach of legal duty, since every defendant would just claim ignorance of the duty.

        Apple was bound by EU law when it chose to do business in the EU, not just by Irish law. That is why the company pays lawyers big bucks to tell it what the law requires. In this case, both Apple’s lawyers and Ireland’s must have been aware that they were skating really close to the edge. Just because both of them were wrong about the law–if the courts ultimately find that they were–doesn’t get either party off the hook.

        Besides, Ireland can’t “fill in any tax deficit,” because the taxes were owed to Ireland. No matter how this case turns out, the EU is not getting any of the money Apple is putting in escrow. Paradoxically, if Ireland loses the case, it wins around $17 billion. If it wins, it gets nothing other than Apple’s good will.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.