Ireland’s international reputation and attraction to multinational investors are new concerns following the eleventh hour decision of European Competition Commissioner Margaret Wester.
The ruling means tech giant Ireland will not have to pay back $ 14 billion and receive no illegal state aid or priority tax treatment.
Wester said he was appealing to the European Court of Justice in a July ruling issued by the European Union’s General Court (GCEU). In the opinion that the GCU made several mistakes in reaching the decision.
“It remains the Commission’s priority for all companies, large and small, to pay a fair share of their taxes … Companies must continue to use all the tools at our disposal to ensure a fair share of their taxes,” Ms Wester said.
Critics say the move is wrong and could wreak havoc on Ireland and the European Union as a whole.
Brian Keegan of Chartered Accountants Ireland said the commission had made the wrong decision in filing the appeal and that the move would serve a small purpose.
“Commission resources should now be set aside to secure Europe’s position as an international trading hub and to wage domestic tax wars with member states. The tax point issued in the Apple case is no longer an issue, neither the Irish legislation nor the European Commission has resolved it. The operation is driven by changes in U.S. tax law,” he said.
Ireland would have refunded the money to Apple if the European Commission had not appealed. Instead, it will remain in Escrow until the new appeal works its way.
It may take up to two years now.
According to Peter Vale, Grant Thornton Ireland’s tax partner, this would tarnish Ireland’s reputation – regardless of the end result; Some still hope to go to Ireland and to the delight of Apple.
“If the Commission had decided not to appeal, the case would have been closed, which would have been a positive development for Ireland, and in fact would have been a paradox for investment in the European Union,” Weil said.
The decision to appeal creates more uncertainty for investors looking at Ireland or the wider European Union regarding the tax landscape.
“There is nothing more frightening to investors than uncertainty. The global tax landscape is already in flux.” [the decision to appeal] Nothing is being done to change that description, ”he said.
Wells said the long-term reputation of Ireland and the European Union could be damaged if Westerge’s appeal proves successful and Ireland retains $ 14 billion.
“In such a scenario, adversely affecting Ireland would quickly eliminate short-term money,” he said.
The IDA recently said that the long-running Apple tax case is tarnishing Ireland’s reputation and making it more difficult to attract domestic investment.
Finance Minister Paschal Donohue said Ireland has always been clear that accurate taxes have been paid and state aid has not been provided.