Brexit could delay EU decision on Apple tax - Michael Noonan

Many had expected Commission to deliver ruling in July

The Government has insisted that it will appeal any negative finding on Apple’s Irish tax arrangements. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

The Government has insisted that it will appeal any negative finding on Apple’s Irish tax arrangements. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

 

The Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said the Brexit vote may push back a decision by the EU on whether Apple’s tax dealings in this country breached state aid rules.

Addressing an Oireachtas committee on Thursday, Mr Noonan said while it had been rumoured that the EU would deliver its final ruling on its case against Ireland in July, the possibility of an adverse finding and large tax bill for “an American company operating in Europe” next month is now less likely in the immediate aftermath of the UK referendum.

He said that the EU competition authorities will make their decision in due course.

Initial findings

Initial findings by the Commission in 2014 said that Apple’s Irish tax arrangements were improperly designed to give the iPhone and iPad maker a financial advantage in exchange for jobs in the country. JP Morgan analysts have estimated that Apple could end up, in a worst-case scenario, having to pay $19 billion (€16.7 billion) in back taxes, though the expectation is that any negative ruling would end up with a much smaller bill.

The Government has repeatedly said that it will appeal any negative finding to the EU Court of Justice.

In the past, Apple has said it doesn’t use “tax gimmicks”, while the Government has insisted that no State-aid rules were breached in this case.