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Apple set up a non-tax resident company in Ireland as its HQ for international sales.  At the time anyone could do it, and many did. It wasn't an arrangement in any way unique to Apple.

I don't agree with it, and am glad Noonan abolished that provision last year.  But that does not give Vestager the power to make that abolition retro-active for 20 odd years. She has no powers in relation to corporate taxation whatsoever.  

The €13 Billion tax bill relates to profits made on international sales, not its Irish operations.  Since becoming tax resident in Ireland last year, Apple is now paying Irish corporation tax on those profits.

There is a valid case for arguing that those profits should be taxed in the markets where the sales took place, but that is not the basis for her finding.  In fact she is arguing that Ireland should collect that tax, and if necessary, come to an arrangement with those countries where the sales took place.

None of this has any basis in any of the Treaties or is in any way within her sphere of competence.  It may make her and the Commission look good in Europe -  kicking around a weak government in a smaller member state. It is also the fastest way of promoting an Ire-exit movement in Ireland I can think of and embodies all the stereotypes of "unelected Brussels Bureaucrats" dictating policy to sovereign states so beloved of the Brexiteers.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Sep 2nd, 2016 at 06:23:27 PM EST
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