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European Commission’s State Aid Ruling


On 30 August, the European Commission announced its decision in the Apple state aid investigation.

The Commission concluded that “two tax rulings issued by Ireland to Apple have substantially and artificially lowered the tax paid by Apple in Ireland since 1991” which, in its view, breached EU state aid rules. Ireland has been instructed to recover the unpaid taxes from Apple for the years 2003 to 2014, which the Commission estimates could be up to €13 billion (plus interest). The Commission states, however, that the amount of unpaid taxes to be recovered by the Irish authorities would be reduced if other countries were to lay claim to the underlying profit.

The Commission notes that the decision “does not call into question Ireland's general tax system or its corporate tax rate”.

Ireland has a period of just over two months to launch an appeal.



Institute Publication

Last Friday, the Cabinet decided to appeal the Commission’s ruling.

There will be a special sitting of the Dáil tomorrow (7 September) to discuss the Government’s decision to appeal the ruling and it is expected that various facets of Ireland’s corporate tax regime will be debated.

In advance of the debate, the Institute has today published A Guide To Changes In Irish Tax Rules - The Global Tax Reform Agenda.  The Guide looks at the work that Ireland has done, and continues to do, in the area of global tax reform.

Read the Guide