The findings of a probe into Apple’s tax affairs in Ireland won’t hurt the country, according to Finance Minister Michael Noonan, who vowed to go to court to fight any negative ruling from European Union watchdogs, reports Blooomberg Business (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-10-05/apple-tax-probe-won-t-wound-ireland-finance-minister-says).
Ireland has an “indication ” the EU will decide before the end of the year whether the nation’s tax dealings with the iPhone maker violate the bloc’s state-aid rules, Noonan told reporters in Luxembourg.
Whatever happens, “we don’t think it will be damaging to us,” Noonan said. “If it’s adverse, we think it’s based on very thin legal grounds and we’ll have it before the European Court of Justice.””
The EU is investigating whether the Ireland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands have attracted investment and jobs by helping big companies avoid tax in other countries, including EU members. The commission suspects Ireland was too lenient in rulings it gave to Apple and which helped the company shield tens of billions of dollars in profit from tax and has asked Dublin for information on the rulings it gave the iPhone maker, according to Reuters.
In October 2013 it was reported that the Irish government was considering the elimination of a treatment that allows firms such as Apple to be taxed as a “stateless” corporate entity as part of the country’s 2014 budget preparations. That could end what many U.S. legislators have deemed a “tax dodge” that put Apple’s tax rate in the country at below 2%, far lower than Ireland’s 12.5% corporate tax rate, and even more burdensome taxation levels in the U.S.