Apple pays the 14.3 billion euro fine to Ireland, but Ireland doesn’t want that money.
More than two years have passed since the EU completed its investigation of Apple: the Cupertino company had received tax aid from the Irish government, which ended causing a fine of 13,000 million euros for non-payment of taxes.
That sentence caused Apple to decide to pay that fine with interest, and they have finally done so. In total, they have paid the 13,100 million euros of the fine plus 1,200 million euros more for the accumulated interest. With this, the EU has decided to close the case definitively, but the resolution has been somewhat strange and in Ireland they have blocked the account in which they received that money.
A locked account to complicate things
The EU investigation sought to prevent abuses due to better tax conditions in Ireland, where corporate tax is one of the lowest throughout the European Union.
Today Irish Minister of Finance @Paschald confirmed the full recovery of € 14 bn of illegal aid to Apple (unpaid taxes). Good. So we can close the Court action on recovery.
– Margrethe Vestager (@vestager) September 18, 2018
However, in Ireland they did not receive the sentence well despite the fact that it favored them economically. The Irish government has in fact announced that they have recovered the 14,000 million euros of illegal aid (in unpaid taxes) to Apple.
As revealed in The Guardian, that does not mean that everything is finally fixed. They have complied with EU requirements, but have done so by directing payment to a escrow account.
The reason? That they will continue to appeal the decision of the European Union. In Ireland they continue to maintain that Apple never received special treatment, and that the appeal “was important to preserve the attractiveness of Ireland for investors “.
Positive news this evening that the @EU_Commission is closing the Court action and dropping infringement proceedings following on from recovery of alleged State aid from Apple. Always Ireland’s intention to comply with our legal obligations in this regard
– Paschal Donohoe (@Paschald) September 18, 2018
Paschal Donohoe, Irish finance minister, explained that “although the government is totally disagree with the Commission’s analysis and he is trying to achieve an annulment of the decision, as committed members of the European Union we have always confirmed that we would recover these supposed aid to the state. ”
That appeal is already underway and according to Donohoe it already has the highest priority status, which will allow its arrival at the General Court of the European Union (GCEU) to occur in the short term.
Still the final decision it could take even years to arrive, which will make that blocked account keep that enormous amount of money without it being touched until that final decision.
Ireland wants to continue to maintain its attractiveness for companies that want to locate headquarters there, and that makes in a bizarre turn of events Apple has paid, but Ireland does not want to touch that money with a stick.