EU’s claim for Apple to pay €13bn is unjustified, Ireland says


In an interview with Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper, Ireland’s finance minister said EU’s demand for Apple to pay over €13bn (£11.9bn) in back taxes was not justified.

The European Commission required Apple to pay Ireland in back taxes after a finding last year that Apple paid a meager amount of tax on its Ireland-based operations.

Snippets from the talk on which the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper issued on Wednesday – Paschal Donohoe, the finance minister in Ireland – said the tax practices of which Apple availed had been open to all and were not solely for the US tech giant. He continued that Apple did not break the European or Irish law.

Ireland’s administration has insisted it will get the money pending a motion for reconsideration of the ruling by Apple, but Mr Donohoe said it was not Dublin’s business and the demand was unjustified.

The money is presently being kept by an escrow. Mr Donohoe said, “we are not the global tax collector for everybody else.”

Mr Donohoe also kept away from French and German offers that the EU do more to stop Chinese investors from acquiring strategically significant European firms, saying this would compromise Europe’s name for openness.

“We must be very careful not to endanger our reputation as advocates for free trade,” he added.