herald

Thursday 16 August 2018

Burton hopes Apple tax deal is above board

Tanaiste Joan Burton has said she hopes Ireland's tax arrangements with computer giant Apple are compliant.

Her comments came after the Government stated that the iPhone maker did not get any "sweetheart tax deal" here ahead of a report being published by the European Commission today.

Ms Burton said she "would anticipate and hope" that our tax deal with Apple is above board.

Reports have emerged that the EU Commission will accuse Apple of profiting from allegedly illegal tax deals with Ireland.

co-operate

"The European Commissioner has announced this investigation, so the first thing is that Ireland will co-operate fully with that investigation," said the Labour leader. "I don't want to anticipate what the outcome of the investigation will be.

"But bearing in mind that the Government is involved in very detailed work with the OECD in relation to what's called the BEPS project - Base, Erosion, Profit Shifting work - that's ongoing in the OECD.

"Earlier in the year, a delegation which included the Taoiseach, the (former) Tanaiste and ministers like myself met with the OECD over a significant period of time in Paris, and this was one of the items that came up for discussion."

Ms Burton concluded by saying: "I would anticipate and hope that Ireland and the arrangements we have made will actually on examination be found to be in agreement."

However, she did say that "if changes are required" they will be addressed.

The Financial Times reported yesterday that the commission would accuse Apple of making profits from an alleged illegal tax deal with Ireland.

It follows an investigation into that matter that was launched last June.

"Ireland is confident that there is no breach of state aid rules in this case and has already issued a formal response to the commission earlier this month," the Department of Finance said in a statement.

An opening decision is a set of early findings that will spell out why it opened a probe into Apple's tax affairs in Ireland.

implications

The European Commission said the document will lay out its reasons for launching an in-depth inquiry into suspected Irish government aid to Apple, a spokesman said.

Antoine Colombani, speaking for Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia, said the commission would publish a "non-confidential version of its decision" to open the probe.

The Commission announced in June that it was investigating Ireland, the Netherlands and Luxembourg over potential state aid implications of the tax affairs of Apple, Starbucks and Fiat.

hnews@herald.ie

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