Eurodad media response to the decision in the Ireland-Apple state aid case

Tuesday 30 August 2016

Today the European Commission ordered Ireland to retrieve €13 billion in unpaid taxes from tech giant Apple, after the country was found to have breached EU rules on ‘State Aid’.

Two tax rulings, also known as ‘sweetheart deals’, have allowed Apple to slash their tax payments. One of those deals dates back 25 years.

The Irish government has previously indicated that rather than pursuing this money, it plans to appeal.

Tove Ryding, Coordinator of Tax Justice at the European Network on Debt and Development (Eurodad), said:

"Today, the European Commission has exposed one rotten apple, but we fear there are many more out there. Although we welcome that the EU has taken action in this specific case, the approach is still addressing the symptoms but failing to treat the disease. It's clear that unless the tax system is changed, the Commission will not be able to keep up with the tax-related acrobatics of multinational corporations.

"Currently, we have a tax system full of loopholes and all information relating to multinational corporations' tax payments is secret. So we're all running around in the dark trying to find the companies that exploit the loopholes, and once in a while one is caught. What we really need is a rule requiring all multinational companies to publish basic information about where they do business and what taxes they pay in each country where they operate. This issue is currently on the political agenda of the EU, but the Member States and the Commission are still hesitating to switch the light on so we can see whether the multinational corporations are paying their fair share of taxes."

In relation to the next steps in this case, Ryding said:

“We hear that Ireland is planning to appeal this decision, so it will probably take even more years before we find out whether Apple will really be asked to pay the missing taxes. Absurdly, this also means that deeply indebted Ireland is refusing to collect billions of much-needed Euros from Apple.”


For more information or to organise an interview with Tove Ryding, please contact Julia Ravenscroft, Communications Manager at Eurodad, on + 32 2 893 0854/ +32 486 356 814.