Apple’s giant tax bill has potential to bring down the Irish government


Irish flag
Shockwaves will be felt for a long time.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The shockwaves from yesterday’s massive announcement that Apple must pay 13 billion euros ($14.52 billion) in back taxes in Europe are still rippling — but nowhere are they being felt more keenly than in Ireland.

Although the Irish government wasted no time in saying it planned to appeal the EC decision, a new report notes that internal disagreements on this issue could have the potential to have an enormous impact. Like, tearing-the-government-apart enormous!

The reason for this is that the minority party to which Ireland’s pro-Apple finance minister, Michael Noonan, belongs must have the support of a number of independent lawmaker to appeal the decision.

As Reuters notes, if this group of independent lawmakers refuse “to back an appeal and pulled out of government, [ruling party] Fine Gael would no longer have sufficient support in parliament to pass legislation and the government could collapse.”

It’s just one of many potential problems which could occur as the impact of yesterday’s verdict continues to be felt. Already, a post-Brexit U.K. has said it would happily welcome Apple if the company decides to set up shop there. Technology companies in Silicon Valley, meanwhile, have expressed concern at the possibility that taxes can be applied to them retroactively.

Whichever side of the fence you come down on, one thing that’s for sure is that the ramifications of this week’s verdict will be felt for a long, long time.