Ireland must vigorously defend its corporation tax policy – McGrath

Published on: 19 December 2016

Fianna Fáil Finance Spokesperson, Michael McGrath TD has said that despite the publication of the full Apple ruling by the European Commission today, Ireland must continue on with its appeal through the European Courts to protect Ireland’s tax sovereignty.

Commenting following the publication of the full report, McGrath said: “While more detail is available in the full report published today, the fundamental issue remains the right of individual EU Member States to retain the right to set their own corporation tax policy. The central issue at stake is how the EU Commission has failed to understand Irish tax law, and worryingly how it also failed to understand European tax laws.”

“The Irish Government must continue with its appeal, which was approved by Dáil Éireann in September, and ensure that the Revenue Commissioners can continue to issue tax rulings as it sees fit.”

“When the provisional ruling was announced at the end of August, Fianna Fáil rejected the Commission’s conclusion that these Revenue ‘rulings’ amounted to illegal State Aid to Apple. Fianna Fáil still rejects these findings.”

“The two tax rulings, issued in January 1991 and May 2007 by the Irish Revenue Commissioners, which are at the heart of this action by the European Commission did not, in our opinion, confer upon Apple or its subsidiaries, special tax treatment which was not available to other companies.”

“The European Commission has not demonstrated that these Revenue opinions amounted to illegal State Aid,” argued McGrath.

“In this regard, the European Commission has misinterpreted its own State Aid rules, and maligned the Irish Revenue Commissioners.”

“In recent months, we have seen a further attack on Ireland’s tax sovereignty via proposals for the CCCTB to be introduced in Ireland. Over the past few weeks, at the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, we heard about the potentially very damaging results of the imposition of a CCCTB in Ireland. To my mind, CCCTB is undoubtedly an attempt by the EU to encroach into an area of Member State competence and it should be roundly rejected by the Irish Government.”

“Furthermore, Minister Noonan has confirmed to me that the Government has provided over 300 tax opinions relating to companies operating in Ireland to the European Commission. This will obviously raise concerns about the potential reach of EU State Aid investigations and underlines the need for Ireland to take a strong approach in defending its position,” concluded Deputy McGrath.

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