Ireland has promised progress with Apple after coming under fire for unfair tax incentives. In August 2016, the European Commission ruled the country was owed up to $15 billion in disputed taxes.
Last month, the European Commission said Ireland had passed the deadline in which to make a decision. The cutoff point was January 3rd, and it said it would take Ireland to the ECJ as a result.
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has responded, saying to parliament,“We’ve indicated to them (Apple) that we want the escrow account established and we want funds to be paid into the escrow account without further delay.”
“We do not want to be in the situation where the Irish government has to take Apple to court because the European Commission is taking the Irish government to court. I think that message is understood and I’d anticipate progress in the coming weeks.”
A two-year investigation found that Apple was paying a tax rate between 0.005% and 1% from 2003–2014. The usual corporate tax rate in Ireland is 12.5%.
Despite this, both Apple and Dublin have appealed the ruling, taking it to the general court in Luxembourg. The two maintain that it was within Irish and European Union law. Ireland says that its legal to levy less tax on profits imposed by competitors, and that this draws foreign investors.
It described the Commission’s move as “extremely regrettable”, and said it has been working with Apple for more than a year to remedy the situation.