€13bn Apple tax bill cash could yet be given back

Marco Green
September 19, 2018

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe has said Apple has deposited in full the €13.1 billion owed in disputed taxes into an escrow account set up by the Government.

Ireland has collected €14.3bn (£12.7bn) in unpaid corporate taxes and associated interest payments from Apple (AAPL), following the 2016 European Union ruling that said that tax benefits provided to the technology giant amounted to illegal state aid.

Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager has been going after the extremely low tax rates paid by some multinationals in the European Union as a competition issue, based on the fact that some giants get them but smaller competitors do not.

Apple agreed to pay the money, which includes some €1.2bn in interest, last December.

Ireland has appointed investment managers to oversee the disputed cash, whom Donohoe said would make low-risk investment decisions and the Irish taxpayer would be protected from any losses.

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe confirmed that the tech giant deposited €13.1bn plus European Union interest of around €1.2bn.

For its part, the commission said it would scrap its lawsuit against Ireland, which it initiated previous year because of delays in recovering the money.

The Finance Department said today it hoped those proceedings will be withdrawn now that the money has been recovered and the Government was in discussion with the Commission on that matter.

Ireland's finance ministry said it expects it to take several years for European courts to resolve the issue.

While the 14.3 billion euros would be enough to fund the country's health service for a year, the government says it has never given any company a special deal and that the appeal is important to preserve Ireland's attractiveness for investment.

"It has taken time to establish the infrastructure and legal framework around the Escrow Fund but this was essential to protect the interests of all parties to the agreement".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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