Apple’s billions in back taxes could cover the entire annual Irish health budget, build about 100,000 homes for the poor or pay off a chunk of the nation’s debt. So why doesn’t the government want the money?
Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan on Tuesday vowed to fight a European Commission ruling that could force the world’s richest company to pay it at least 13 billion euros ($14.5 billion), more than twice the country’s entire 2015 corporate tax take and equivalent to about $3,000 for every man, woman and child. He drew fire from opposition lawmakers who say Dublin should take the money. For the government, though, the stakes are higher.
The country’s corporate tax regime is a cornerstone of its economic policy, attracting Google Inc. and Facebook Inc. to Dublin. Even when Ireland was forced to seek an international bailout six years ago, it resisted pressure to change how it taxes companies. While the Apple ruling doesn’t directly threaten the 12.5 percent rate, the government has promised to stand by executives it says are helping the economy.
"To do anything else, it would be like eating the seed potatoes,” Noonan told broadcaster RTE on Tuesday, adding a failure to fight the case would hurt future generations.
Full story: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-30/why-ireland-doesn-t-want-apple-s-14-5-billion-in-back-taxes
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