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Ireland can’t use Apple tax for coronavirus crisis

Per Law360 (a subscription is required to read the entire article: Ireland’s response to the coronavirus crisis can’t use the €14 billion (approximately $15 billion) that the country was ordered to collect from Apple after a state aid investigation, Ireland’s prime minister said Monday, rebutting comments from an opposition leader.

The article says Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was responding to Mary Lou McDonald, leader of Sinn Féin, who said the money being held in escrow pending an appeal against a European Commission ruling could be used in the country’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The European Commission, Europe’s anti-trust and consumer investigation agency, claims that Ireland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands have attracted investment and jobs by helping big companies avoid tax in other countries, including EU members. The commission accuses Ireland was too lenient in rulings it gave to Apple and which helped the company shield tens of billions of dollars in profit from taxation. 

At 12.5%, Ireland’s corporate tax rate beats the U.S. rate of 35%. However, participating companies don’t pay that 12.5% under the double Irish structure. The €14 billion is in an escrow account should Apple win an appeal at some point and get money back.

Tim Cook has branded the European Commission ruling “total political crap.” Apple’s CEO also suggested the “retroactive” tax bill was an attempt by the EU to grab taxes owed to the U.S. treasury and harmonize tax rates across the 28-nation bloc.

“The European courts will decide whether that money either belongs to Apple or comes to the Irish Revenue Commissioners and then has to be distributed out among the countries of Europe,” Varadkar said. “It’s not ours to take, and it’s now before the courts.”

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.