More grief for Apple in Ireland

Mar 17, 2016, 2:35 PM EDT
(Source: Joseph Teegardin/flickr)
(Source: Joseph Teegardin/flickr)

Today is St. Patrick’s Day, but Ireland is on the front pages for something else: the never-ending tax squabble between regulators (on both sides of the pond) and Apple. 

The European Commission has asked Ireland to supply missing data on Apple’s tax operations in the country, claiming that the Irish government may have provided "special treatment” for the company, resulting in Apple potentially skirting huge sums in taxes.

This is not the first time that Apple has come under fire for its Eire-based operations. The company has been involved in tax investigations with both the Irish government and the U.S. government for years. Indeed, Apple has come to be somewhat of an emblem for the tax avoidance strategies that huge corporations, especially technology ones, embrace. This is true both at home and overseas; the company notoriously takes advantage of the differences in corporate tax rates in, for example, Nevada versus California. And Ireland — as a low-tax country compared to some other European countries — has been part of Apple’s tax strategies for decades.

Now the European Parliament and the European Commission look to be taking a deeper interest in this transAtlantic issue. Bloomberg reports that, following the E.C.’s request, the Irish Finance Ministry said in a statement that it has already addressed the regulator’s concerns "making it clear that the appropriate amount of Irish tax was charged in accordance with the relevant legislation.”

Apple, of course, says that it has paid every last dime of its proper tax owed in Ireland. The debacle will be ongoing, as the E.C. continues to crack down on the tax practices of large U.S. companies operating within the eurozone.