Irish authorities deny special tax deal with Apple
23rd May 2013 | News
Taoiseach Enda Kenny was in Brussels yesterday for a high-profile meeting of the European Council, aimed at focusing on taxation policy within the European Union.
The timely meeting comes amid growing discontent regarding Apple’s corporate tax arrangements and its relationship with Ireland.
The country was labelled a "tax haven" at a high-profile US Senate hearing this week. However, Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore has strongly refuted suggestions Ireland negotiated corporate tax arrangements with individual companies, including an income tax rate of less than two per cent for Apple.
Speaking in Brussels on Tuesday where he chaired a meeting of the General Affairs Council, Gilmore refused to comment on the tax affairs of individual firms, but insisted the Irish Government did not negotiate special tax rates under any circumstances.
"They are issues that arise from the taxation system in other jurisdictions and that’s an issue that has to be addressed first of all in those jurisdictions," he said.
"Let’s be very clear about this, Ireland has a very strong, very transparent tax regime. There are problems in other jurisdictions; those problems are going to have to be addressed.
"Any loopholes have to be closed off, and we will work to have those closed off both at European Union level and through the work we are doing at the OECD."
While much of yesterday’s one-day EU summit focused on tax disclosure involving individuals, the issue of "aggressive tax planning" and profit shifting by corporations such as Apple, Facebook and Google, was also on the agenda.
In order to tighten the net, European Commission president, Jose Manuel Barroso addressed the parliament and said he would urge the summit of EU leaders to support automatic exchange of banking information between tax authorities, becoming an international standard that tackles tax avoidance and fraud.