In the latest instalment of Apple’s battles with the European Union over taxes, Ireland is set to miss a deadline to hire managers to cary out the collection of its owed taxes.
The Irish debt office previously said that it would hire custodians and investment managers for the estimated $15.3 billion tax bill it was awarded by mid-November. However, Ireland — which has fought against collecting the funds from Apple — hasn’t handed out the contracts as it said it would in tender documents.
The office has said the mid-November date revealed in the tender document was merely advisory.
Apple vs. the European Union
The European Union handed Apple the massive tax bill in August 2016, claiming that the company took advantage of illegal state aid that allowed it to route profits through Ireland.
The investigation alleged that Apple paid the equivalent of as little as 0.005 percent on all European profits in 2014. Despite the payment being owed back in January, however, both Ireland and Apple have continued to argue against it.
This led to the European Commission suing Ireland in October of this year. At the time, Eropean Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said that, “We understand that recovery in certain cases maybe more complex than in others, and we are always ready to assist. But member states need to make sufficient progress to restore competition.”
If Ireland is found guilty by the European Court of Justice, it may be fined for its failure to collect Apple’s money. Despite that being the case, Ireland has continued to drag its feet — as this latest news piece shows.
While this could simply be an oversight on the part of the Irish debt office, it certainly looks like Ireland is sticking by Apple, for better or worse.