The Irish Times is reporting today that the European Commission is expected to make public in the coming days – perhaps as early as tomorrow or Wednesday – a ruling that Apple's tax arrangements in Ireland constituted illegal state aid.
Officials and Ministers in Dublin are preparing for the EU's decision and Government Buildings circulated a memo to Ministers over the weekend stressing that Ireland would contest the expected findings. Apple is also certain to appeal the European Commission's ruling.
According to persons familiar with the briefing, the commission is expected to require the Revenue Commissioners to pursue Apple for back taxes, and is also likely to estimate a figure for the tax bill, though the exact amount will be a matter for the Irish authorities to be calculated using a formula suggested by the commission. One Minister speculated that the bill would not be much more than €100 million. For more on this, read the full Irish Times report here. For a more comprehensive overview of this issue, read the Irish Times follow-up report here.
Bloomberg reports today added that "Eoghan Murphy, junior finance minister, told broadcaster RTE that 'We don't believe we gave any state aid to Apple. It's in the national interest that we defend our international reputation in this regard.'"
Last week we posted a report titled the "U.S. Treasury Criticizes EU Tax Probe ahead of Apple Ruling," wherein we noted that "the U.S. Treasury Department published a white paper on the matter titled 'The European Commission's Recent State Aid Investigations of Transfer Pricing Rulings,' and concluded by stating the following:
'The U.S. Treasury Department continues to consider potential responses should the Commission continue its present course. A strongly preferred and mutually beneficial outcome would be a return to the system and practice of international tax cooperation that has long fostered cross-border investment between the United States and EU Member States. The U.S. Treasury Department remains ready and willing to continue to collaborate with the Commission on the important work of ensuring that the international tax system is fair, efficient, and predictable." The full 26 page document could be downloaded here.'"
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