Ireland has ?no choice? but to appeal against a European Union ruling demanding that US tech giant Apple repay them a record 13 billion euros ($14.3 billion) in back taxes, the government said Tuesday.
?The decision leaves me with no choice but to seek cabinet approval to appeal the decision before the European Courts,? Ireland Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said in a government statement.
?This (appeal) is necessary to defend the integrity of our tax system; to provide tax certainty to business; and to challenge the encroachment of EU state aid rules.
?I disagree profoundly with the Commission?s decision,? he added.
The EU said Apple had benefited from a series of Irish sweetheart tax deals that were illegal.
?The European Commission has concluded that Ireland granted undue tax benefits of up to 13 billion euros to Apple. This is illegal under EU state aid rules because it allowed Apple to pay substantially less tax than other businesses. Ireland must now recover the illegal aid,? a Commission statement said.
The Irish government accused the Commission of ?undermining the international consensus, impeding reform and creating uncertainty for business and investment in Europe.?
?Ireland is not alone in this view,? said the statement. ?The US Treasury has stated that ?the Commission?s new approach is inconsistent with international norms and undermines the International tax system?.?
Ireland will not be able to spend the recouped money in the event of an appeal, as it will have to repay it if successful.