EU: EC seeks more info from Ireland on Apple tax case

The European Commission is still seeking information from Ireland before taking a decision on its investigation into Apple’s tax arrangements in the country. The EC wrote to Irish authorities last week, seeking further information pertaining to the case, the Irish Times reports. It follows a submission by Ireland’s Revenue Commissioners of additional information to the EC in late January.

The EC first questioned Ireland’s advance tax rulings with Apple in June 2013, and in September 2014 it opened a formal complaint amid concerns the deal with Ireland violates EU state aid rules and the low tax paid by Apple could be putting it at an unfair competitive advantage. Despite recent speculation that a verdict could be delivered in April, the EU’s competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager said a week ago: “Don’t hold your breath”.

On 15 March, Apple defended its tax practices at a hearing in the European Parliament in Brussels, claiming it has paid “every cent of tax” that is due in Ireland. Addressing members of the European Parliament’s Special Committee on Tax Rulings, Apple’s Cathy Kearney, vice-president for operations based in Cork, said the company’s tax arrangements in Ireland did not involve state aid. She said the Irish government shared the view of the company, which has been based in Ireland since 1980. Representatives from Google, Ikea and McDonald’s also were quizzed by MEPs at the special hearing.

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