EU antitrust regulators demand further details from Ireland on tax deal with Apple

EU antitrust regulators had asked Ireland to provide further details on the country's tax deal with Apple before deciding whether this amounted to illegal state aid to the iPhone maker.

The EC, which has been investigating the Apple deal for over two years, said yesterday that Irish authorities had not responded fully to an earlier query.

"Ireland did not reply in full to the Commission's last request for information, which is why the Commission has sent a reminder to Ireland to request the missing data," Commission spokesman Ricardo Cardoso said in a statement.

"Furthermore, the Commission has requested clarifications to follow up on some of the replies sent by Ireland," he said.

According to Irland's finance department, it had provided a detailed response stating an EU ruling was not imminent.

"There is simply no question that the Irish authorities sought to give the company in question any kind of special tax deal," a finance department spokesman said.

Ireland had been accused in 2014 by the EU competition enforcer of not abiding by international tax rules by letting Apple shelter profit worth tens of billions of dollars from revenue collectors in return for maintaining jobs.

However, the Irish finance ministry issued a statement of its own, insisting that it had "comprehensively addressed" the Commission's concerns and "the appropriate amount of Irish tax was charged in accordance with the relevant legislation."

Investigation was still underway over whether Ireland extended illegal state aid to Apple by way of preferential tax deals. In the event of the argument getting support from a ruling, the Irish government could be asked to collection billions of dollars in back taxes.

On Tuesday, Apple's VP of European operations, Cathy Kearney, appeared in European Parliament and insisted that Apple had "paid every cent of tax" it owed. However, regardless of what happened, the company was "committed to Ireland," she added.