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Ireland to be fined for not taxing Apple

Ireland to be fined for not taxing Apple”

Ireland doesn't feel that it's doing anything wrong, and has appealed the decision of the court declaring the tax break as illegal.

Ireland responded on Wednesday that while it had never accepted the Commission's analysis of the Apple case, it respected European Union law and was committed to ensuring swift recovery of the contested state aid.

"That is why it is extremely disappointing that the Commission has taken action at this time against Ireland", the ministry said in a statement.

The move by Margrethe Vestager, the European Union's competition commissioner, came as regulators ordered Luxembourg to collect around 250 million euros, or about $293 million, in unpaid taxes from Amazon, the online retail behemoth. "But member states need to make sufficient progress to restore competition", she added.

The EU originally issued Apple a $14.5 billion bill in August of past year for securing an allegedly illicit deal with Ireland and avoiding almost all corporate taxes for more than a decade.

Vestager told a news conference that in other cases of illegal tax advantages, such as Fiat in Luxembourg, Starbucks in the Netherlands and a Belgian scheme for 35 companies, the money was recovered even before appeals were exhausted. After a year of no action by Ireland, during which Apple missed its initial January 3 deadline to pay the taxes, Brussels took legal action and asked the European Court of Justice to intervene.

However, the amounts involved were far smaller.

"However, we have always been clear that the Government is fully committed to ensuring that recovery of the alleged Apple state aid takes place without delay and has committed significant resources to ensuring this is achieved", the department said.

Ireland refuted the claims, saying the rates offered to Apple were available to all, and there has been no violation of Irish or European laws.

The decision to take Ireland to court was made after Ireland failed to make any significant progress in the acquisition of these back taxes. It feels that Vestager's decision to hurry the process along is "extremely regrettable", since parsing out $14.5 billion in tax is pretty complex.

Ireland's Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said that in addition to work on the escrow account, the government was in "commercially sensitive" talks with Apple about the exact terms of the transfer.



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