During the debate on September 13, the European Parliament has strongly supported the European Commission’s conclusion that Ireland granted Apple illegal tax benefits, which enabling the company to pay substantially less tax than other businesses over many years.
On August 30, the European Commission's investigation concluded that Ireland granted illegal tax benefits to Apple. The Commission informed that the deal between Apple and Ireland allowed the company to pay a tax rate of only 1% on its European profits in 2003, with that figure decreasing to as little as 0.005% by 2014.
During the debate, some MEPs criticised Apple and Irelands’ plans to appeal against the decision. Margrethe Vestager, the EU Competition Commissioner, acknowledged that they have a right to appeal. “But we have taken a robust decision and we will defend it in court”, she said.
Spanish EPP MEP Pablo Zalba Bidegain said: “We must say loud and clear that the party is over. Although multinationals create jobs they must pay taxes and we need a consolidated tax basis.”
"One agreed by Ireland, we will publish our decision for all to see and I hope this can happen as fast as possible," Ms Vestager said. She further referred that the published information may also be relevant to tax authorities in other jurisdictions such as the US. She also called for more transparency on the basic data of multinational companies and said that the information should become public.
Brian Hayes accused the competition commissioner of making decisions based on politics and not on law. He said: “The European business environment will not be helped by reinventing competition rules. The Commission now asks Ireland to collect this back tax while at the same time encouraging other member states to seek a portion of it – is that logical?”
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