“We need to change the narrative with Europe” - EU Decision to refer Apple process to EU court reflects deeper concerns – Chartered Accountants Ireland

Oct 04, 2017
Today’s decision by the EU Commission to refer Ireland to the EU Court of Justice for delays in collecting the €13bn under dispute in the Apple State Aid Case must prompt renewed debate on the role of the EU institutions in a Member State’s legal and administrative decisions, according to Chartered Accountants Ireland.

The Commission decision comes within days of Ireland’s rejection of the latest European initiative to look to tax companies in the digital economy by charging a domestic levy on their customers.  This, along with recent important EU policy statements by the President of the European Commission Mr Juncker and French President M Macron suggest a direction of travel within the EU which would restrict EU Member States ability to take their own decisions in the future.

“Ireland’s decision to appeal the decision of the EU Competition Commissioner that insufficient taxes were collected from Apple over the years was not taken lightly, and also created a huge logistical challenge for the country.  €13bn has to be collected and held in a way whereby the money was secure and would not lose value over the course of the appeal process” according to Dr Brian Keegan, Institute Director of Public Policy and Taxation.  “It is not reasonable for the Commission to challenge the way Ireland is working on this unprecedented task in the EU Court, especially as the Commission’s own approach to this State Aid case is itself the subject of judicial proceedings”.

The Institute suggests that Ireland, as one of the longest standing EU member states, has an important role to play in any debate on the future role of the EU institutions.  “Ireland’s EU membership is important and valued both here and abroad.  We should not have to be reacting to EU decisions in a consistently negative way” said Dr Keegan.

ENDS 4 October 2017
Reference: Dr Brian Keegan, Director of Public Policy and Taxation, Chartered Accountants Ireland, T: +353 1 637 7347.