The Irish Finance Minister, Michael Noonan, will bring the debate to the EU court, a move that could trigger a years long court battle.
The move comes from European Commission finding that Ireland had been giving Apple tax breaks, something that has attracted a number of multinational employers to Ireland. The EU, however, has ordered the practices to change. After a three-year probe into Ireland’s relationship with Apple, the European Commission ordered Ireland to collect $14.5 billion in back taxes from the company.
Apple has also vowed to fight against the EU decision. It activated its minions in the US Treasury Department says the decision is a threat “to undermine foreign investment, the business climate in Europe, and the important spirit of economic partnership between the US and the EU”. After all big corporations not paying taxs is the American way.
The European Commission’s Jean-Claude Juncker, who said that the ruling against Apple is clearly based on facts, argues that the decision is not one against the US, but rather against unfair business practices.
Ireland’s corporate tax rate is currently 12.5 percent, however, Apple was paying far less thanks to a deal between it and Ireland that dates back to the 1990s. The deal essentially allowed Apple to record all sales as being in Ireland rather than other countries where Apple products were sold. In return, Apple brought thousands of jobs to the country.