Tim Cook, Apple chief executive, has been accused of being “disrespectful” to Ireland after he turned down an invitation to talk to a committee of MPs investigating the US technology giant’s Irish tax arrangements.
The invitation from the Irish parliament’s finance committee followed the European Commission ruling that Apple owed Ireland €13bn in unpaid taxes because of an arrangement that amounted to illegal state aid.
In a letter to the committee made public on Thursday, Claire Thwaites, a senior director for government affairs at Apple, said the affair was “a complex and challenging issue” on which it was engaging with the Irish finance ministry and tax authorities as well as the commission.
“Given the sensitive nature of the investigation and the timing, we have been advised not to undertake any other direct activities, which could potentially prejudice future outcomes. It is on this basis that we are unable to appear before the committee on this occasion,” Ms Thwaites wrote in the letter, which was dated December 20.
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