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Parliamentary questions
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22 July 2019
Question for written answer E-002377-19
to the Commission
Rule 138
Matt Carthy (GUE/NGL)

 Subject:  The Commission's failure to investigate Apple's post-2014 tax arrangements in Ireland
 Answer in writing 

With the assistance of the Irish Government, Apple has successfully created a new structure that has allowed it to gain a tax write-off against almost all of its non-US sales profits. It has done this primarily by using a 100% capital allowance for intangible assets, as well as an outflow of capital from Ireland to Jersey through expenditure on intellectual property and debt.

The chair of the Government’s Fiscal Advisory Council has suggested that Apple’s exploitation of the capital allowance regime for tax purposes may be illegal, because the law rules out using the allowance where the main purpose is for tax avoidance.

Commissioner Vestager, has stated that the 100% capital allowance is not applied only to Apple and therefore does not meet the selectivity requirement for illegal state aid. However, if Apple’s new structure is exploiting the capital allowance regime with the intention of reducing its tax liability in Ireland, it is breaching the law with the blessing of the Irish Government.

Will the Commission investigate whether Apple’s use of the capital allowance is designed to reduce its tax bill, and if so, whether the Irish Government’s allowance of this is another case of illegal state aid?

Last updated: 5 August 2019Legal notice