08:42 GMT25 November 2020
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    Dictating EU member states' rate of taxation is not within the competency area of the bloc's authorities and Ireland will defend its right to tax US-based technology giant Apple in accordance with its laws, Sean O Fearghail, the speaker of the lower house of Ireland’s parliament, told Sputnik on Friday.

    STRASBOURG (Sputnik) — On August 30, the European Commission found that Ireland had provided Apple with up to $14.5 billion in illegal tax benefits, allowing the corporation to pay less than 1 percent in taxes between 1991 and 2007. The Commission ordered Apple to repay the amount to Ireland.

    "Fixing of tax rates, the collection of tax is a competency of the member states, it is not a matter for the European Union, and Ireland will do anything and everything that it has to do in order to protect its right and its competency in that regard," O Fearghail said on the sidelines of the European Conference of Presidents of Parliament.

    Apple has paid all the taxes it legally owed, he stressed, adding that there are certain international issues related to tax avoidance through legal loopholes which Ireland has moved to address on its part.

    "Many of the EU member states are quite frankly jealous of the extent at which Ireland has succeeded in attracting multinational players. European member states are not supportive of the fact that we have a 12.5 percent corporate taxation regime," he said.

    The Irish government has previously warned that the European Commission's decision would damage the investment climate in Ireland, which is home to hundreds of US companies, offering them easier access to the European market. Both the Irish government and Apple intend to appeal the European Commission decision in court.


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    taxation, European Union, Apple, Sean O Fearghail, Ireland
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