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Govt to circulate Dept of Finance Apple briefing

2 The European Commission ruled that Ireland had granted illegal state aid to Apple

The Government is planning to circulate a Department of Finance document to all TDs in advance of Wednesday s D il debate on the Government s decision to appeal the ruling by the European Commission that Ireland granted Apple illegal State aid worth up to 13bn.

While the Government cannot publish the full report by the commission, it is understood it will circulate a briefing document, probably tomorrow night.

The document will give TDs more information on the background to the case.

The D il has been recalled early to sit on Wednesday to debate the confidential 150-page ruling.

The commission concluded that Ireland had granted undue tax benefits of up to 13bn to Apple and said selective treatment allowed the company to pay a tax rate of 1% on European Union profits in 2003 down to 0.005% in 2014.

The findings, which were published on 30 August, were the result of a three-year investigation by Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager into tax arrangements for the tech giant, dating back 25 years.

Full report unlikely to be published for months

The full commission report is unlikely to be published for some months.

The current version of the report may include some commercially sensitive information.

Apple and Ireland will be consulted about redacting parts of the report before a final version is published.

In October 2015, the European Commission announced decisions into Fiat s tax arrangements in Luxembourg and Starbuck s deal with the Netherlands. However, the final versions of the reports involved were not released until June 2016.

The Cabinet has agreed to appeal the commission s ruling and Taoiseach Enda Kenny said he makes no apology whatsoever for defending the right to appeal.

Earlier, Ireland s European Commissioner, Phil Hogan, rejected claims the commission s decision was politically motivated.

Mr Hogan, EC Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, said there was a three-year investigation and that the matter will now be adjudicated in the European Courts of Justice.

He insisted that the decision had been arrived at using data which had been provided by the company itself and by the US Senate, which conducted its own investigation.

As [European Commission President Claude Juncker] said, the decision is based on facts and not on the basis of politics .

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook last week described the ruling as total political crap .

Speaking this morning in west Cork, Mr Hogan said he had no choice but to support Ms Vestager s decision. The alternative, he said, would be to resign.

IDA boss says European Commission Apple ruling is asking Ireland to be collector general for the rest of the world https://t.co/ZU0frwaOCQ

IDA Ireland chief executive Martin Shanahan said the Apple tax ruling is very unhelpful from an Irish and European perspective, in terms of attracting investment.

Speaking on RT s Morning Ireland, he said it will make his job and the job of his counterparts very challenging.

Investors crave certainty. They want to know that the tax legislation of member states is what will apply if they invest in those countries. What the commission has done is put that into question and that you can change the rules.

He rejected claims that Ireland was stealing tax from other countries.

What the commission is clearly asking is for Ireland be a collector general for the rest of the world. That is not acceptable to us. I don t accept that we are taking anyone s tax.

He said that ultimately this was an international issue.

There are mismatches undoubtedly between international tax regimes. And Ireland has been to the forefront of playing its part in ensuring those mismatches are addressed. We have made changes over the last number of years to our tax regime.

Mr Shanahan said he is comfortable that Ireland is playing its part and that companies are abiding by the rule of law.

Zappone considered quitting Govt over appeal

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katharine Zappone has said she did have a sense last week that she might have to leave the Government on principle over the decision to appeal.

Speaking on RT s Today with Sean O Rourke, she said it was a very, very difficult few days but she said although she made some compromises , she did not compromise her principles or her conscience in this regard.

Sinn F in s finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty said the non-publication of the judgment allows the Government to set its own agenda.

Speaking on RT s News at One, he said he had not been briefed on the issue.

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