Today Apple and the Irish State embark on an epic court battle with the EU over the so-called Apple tax, how will this affect our Corporate Tax Structures?
It is just over three years since the European Commission concluded its investigation into Apple’s tax liability in Ireland and Margrethe Vestager of the European Commission announced her findings that Ireland had granted illegal tax benefits to Apple and proceeded to order Apple to pay €13 billion plus interest in unpaid Irish taxes from 2004-2014 to the Irish State. This €14.3 billion was paid by Apple to Ireland and was deposited in an escrow account pending a hearing of the Appeal which was taken by Ireland and Apple. The Appeal hearing is due to be heard on the 17th and 18th of September and it is the Irish Government’s position that it strongly believes that the European Commission had drifted into making state aid judgments about issues that it was not really empowered to do namely sovereign tax matters.
Ireland was obligated to bring the Appeal on a point of principle based on defending the notion that our tax policies and how they were implemented in the past do not confer favourable treatment to any particular company and were not in breach of any rules. Apple also wanted to appeal and given that Apple has 6000 employees here in Ireland and is one the country’s biggest corporation taxpayers it is a good strategic move of Ireland to appeal the decision. Apple was invited here by previous Governments based on a set of tax rules, terms and conditions, which the Irish Revenue Commissioners approved in 1991 and again in 2007. The particular corporation structures used in this case have been effectively shut down under new Irish tax rules and won’t be repeated. The Government’s position is effectively about defending the past and about standing by a major investor in our country.
The Appeal set for September the 17th and 18th is at the EU’s General Court being its second-highest Tribunal. Depending on the EU’s General Court’s finding, there could still be appeals to the ECJ and it is anticipated that this Appeal will not reach conclusion for many years. If you have any questions on Ireland’s tax structures or property investment please contact us here or email firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org