TDs will return to the Dáil to debate the European Commission’s 150-page ruling that Ireland granted Apple illegal State aid. The Dáil was recalled early for the debate after the Government said it would the appeal the ruling, which is confidential and TDs have not seen. Last night, they were given a 16-page Department of Finance document giving the background to the commission’s decision.
The commission concluded that Ireland granted undue tax benefits of up to €13bn to Apple.
It said “selective treatment” allowed Apple to pay a tax rate of 1% on European Union profits in 2003 down to 0.005% in 2014.
The findings are a result of the culmination of a three-year investigation by Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager into tax arrangements for Apple, dating back 25 years.
The Department of Finance also sent deputies a white paper from the US Department of the Treasury on the commission’s recent state aid investigations into transfer pricing rules.
The white paper, which was published before the commission’s decision on Apple last Tuesday, states that the commission’s approach is new and departs from prior EU case law and commission decisions.
Fianna Fáil’s finance spokesperson Michael McGrath said the Dáil debate is important even if the commission’s report remains confidential.
Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, he said: “I think we have to have the debate because we don’t know how long it is going to take for the full report to be published and we know there is a two month deadline for the Government to appeal the decision.
“So if the Dáil is to have a say on the question of an appeal, inevitably it has to be had prior to the full publication of the report”
He said the core of the commission’s argument is that Apple got special treatment and “the key issue is to defend our right as an independent country with control over our tax system and how it is applied by Revenue and Revenue is adamant there was no selective treatment.”