Responding to the EU General Court decision on the Apple tax case, Róisín Shortall TD, co-leader of the Social Democrats said:

“The judgement is a pyrrhic victory for the tax-payers of Ireland, and indeed other European countries.

“It is the public purse that loses out. We have a right to expect a fair tax on corporate profits to be paid to the Revenue. If there was a fair tax system, the €13bn in question in this case would have paid into the public purse in Ireland and in other European countries. Think of what our health service would be like if the portion of the Apple tax due to Ireland was available to implement Sláintecare.

“Apple have paid 0.005% tax on the profits in question. That amounts to a tax of 5 cent on every €1,000 profit which is a real slap in the face to Irish taxpayers including our SMEs. Even if the EU General Court has found that it was legal not to charge a fair rate of tax on profits in this case, it is clearly morally wrong that a global multinational can strategically manage their tax affairs to pay so little tax and be facilitated by our Government in doing so.

“The issue at the heart of this case, and of so many corporate tax questions, is tax justice and transparency, as well as solidarity with our EU partners. The judgement makes it clear that it is up to us to put in place a corporate tax system that is fair and just. Our corporate tax system continues to attract scrutiny and criticism from our European partners, and reform should be pursued to ensure fair taxation.

“The judgement may very well be appealed by the EU Commission to the European Court of Justice, bringing further scrutiny of Ireland’s historic tax treatment of Apple, and continuing to cast an unfavourable light on Ireland’s reputation regarding tax matters. It also remains to be seen whether there are implication for historic tax for other corporations who may seek the same deal as the Irish Government gave Apple.”

15th July 2020

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