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Polling on the Apple appeal October 10, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

This is a telling snapshot isn’t it, in the Irish Times, of political support and opposition for the government decision to appeal the EC ruling on Apple.

When asked whether the Government was right to appeal the ruling that Apple should pay €13 billion in back tax, 47 per cent said yes, 39 per cent said no and 14 per cent had no opinion.

In a way, given anecdotal evidence, I’m almost surprised it’s within 10% either way. Talking to a range of people in parties the sense was that there was considerable agreement with the government position. Intriguingly support for an appeal is strongest in Dublin/Leinster. Weakest in Connacht and Ulster. And check this out:

Sinn Féin voters are against the appeal by a small margin, but the strongest opposition to the decision comes from supporters of Independents and smaller parties.
This reflects the strong criticism of the Government decision from left-wing Independents and parties as well as the reservations expressed by some of the Independents who are part of the Government.
There is equally strong support for the Government decision among the best-off AB voters and the middle-class C1 voters while C2 voters are almost equally divided and the poorest DE voters are against the decision. Farmers, though, are in favour.

We’re sometimes a cautious lot, aren’t we?


1. An Cathaoirleach - October 10, 2016

It makes little difference. Apple already have two very large correlative adjustments to offset against the payment – additional liabilities have been assessed in both Italy & Japan, which directly relate to the Irish operation. There will be very little left to pay when they offset all the audit settlements in other countries, perhaps 15-20% of the headline sum.

This would just about cover the likely losses of VAT & Excise in 2017, assuming £stg stays at its current level.


RosencrantzisDead - October 10, 2016

Interesting about these new liabilities, but I am pretty sure that you cannot seek back taxes beyond six years (if you are a private entity).


RosencrantzisDead - October 10, 2016

Just on this Japan liability, is there a source for what is being sought? The articles I can find state that Japan are seeking an additional €105 million.


An Cathaoirleach - October 12, 2016

There is no time limit on correlative adjustments. The obligation is on company to notify the Revenue as soon as is possible. Transfer pricing audits generally drag on for many, many years.

The normal time limit for claiming a tax refund is four years, previously 6/10 years.

The figure you mention is correct for Japan. The reports suggest that the file was opened by a local Inspector in the Tokyo region who entered an assessment based on a technicality. The settlement is reported to have covered a very short period, in respect of payments for Itunes services.

The Ireland/Japan Double Taxation Treaty is very old (1974) and provides for withholding taxes on certain payments such as royalties. The maximum rate in the case of Japan is 10%. This of course is 10% of the income, not 10% of the profits! http://www.revenue.ie/en/practitioner/law/double/japan.pdf

However, it is now reported that the matter is being dealt with centrally for a wider investigation.

The Italian audit was carried out by a multi-disciplinary team as part of the anti-racketeering “Clean Hands” investigations. The settlement was reported as €316M to cover the initial five years but €550M to bring the case up to date. The settlement was signed off after Tim Cook flew into to meet Matteo Renzi. Francesco Greco, Head of the Milan investigation was also promoted and is now the Chief Prosecutor for Milan. It was settled just in time for Christmas 2015 and covered extensively in La Repubblica.

Apologies for not responding earlier.


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