Should Apple pay back taxes in Ireland?

Apple and the European Commission are sparring over 13 billion euros in back taxes at the General Court in Luxembourg this week. The EU wants Ireland to demand that the company pay it this sum on the grounds that it granted Apple illegal preferential treatment. Commentators in Ireland are at odds over the issue.

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The Irish Times (IE) /

Tax obligations must apply for tech giants too

Governments like the one in Ireland are endangering the West's basic democratic consensus by giving international companies special treatment, The Irish Times writes angrily:

“It is precisely this collusion of governments in corporate tax avoidance on a staggering scale that is sucking the lifeblood out of public services across the world and creating gross inequality by channelling almost all the new wealth being created towards the top 1 per cent of the population. These conditions lie at the heart of the current crisis of liberal democracy - you can't sustain the illusion that we all matter equally when the wealthiest corporations can opt out of the obligations of taxation that apply to ordinary hard-pressed citizens.”

RTE News (IE) /

Tax payment would be massively damaging

Hopefully the government in Dublin and Apple will win in court, RTE News counters:

“[The back taxes payment] would only be a short term gain and may only go to reinforce claims that Ireland is a tax haven - something the Government strongly denies. In the long-run the argument made by other politicians and experts is that Ireland would be far better off if it and Apple won their appeals. ... So while a €14.3bn windfall might seem very attractive, for a small open economy like ours that is so dependent on inward investment and a reputation for doing clean business, it actually could prove massively damaging.”