Belfast Telegraph

EU probe into Apple's Ireland tax affairs nears end

The iPhone is one of many popular products manufactured by Apple
The iPhone is one of many popular products manufactured by Apple

By Donal O'Donovan

A European probe into the Irish taxes paid by technology giant Apple and multinational firms in Luxembourg and the Netherlands is close to finishing.

EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager announced yesterday that she would "be seeking to conclude shortly" the tax investigations into Apple in Ireland, Amazon and Fiat in Luxembourg, and Starbucks in the Netherlands.

The news came as Taoiseach Enda Kenny issued a robust defence of Ireland's corporate tax regime, which has been under international pressure in recent years as global agencies have moved to clamp down on tax-reducing "profit shifting" by global companies.

"Ireland will play fair, but we will play to win," Mr Kenny said at the Grant Thornton Worldwide Tax Conference in Dublin.

The 12.5% corporate tax rate, which Northern Ireland business has sought to replicate, is a cornerstone of economic policy, and will not change, Mr Kenny added.

Legislation to establish a "knowledge development box" to lower taxes for the most innovative companies will be introduced in October, he also announced.

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