The US Treasury is preparing a pre-emptive strike against a long-awaited probe by the European Commission into Ireland's tax arrangements with tech firms such as Apple.
The US Department of the Treasury plans to publish a paper today outlining its views on the EU’s investigations into tax arrangements, sources told The Irish Times, which was first to break news of the fightback.
In a white paper commissioned by Treasury secretary Jack Lew and seen by the Financial Times, the Treasury says the probe amounts to a power grab.
“This shift in approach appears to expand the role of the [competition directorate] beyond enforcement of competition and state aid law . . . into that of a supranational tax authority that reviews member state” decisions on corporate tax, it says.
The European Commission is currently investigating allegations that the Emerald Isle cut a sweetheart deal with Apple, claiming the arrangement amounts to "state aid".
The investigation, which began in June 2014, was expected to conclude earlier this year. The commission said it is waiting for Ireland to submit further information.
Apple has repeatedly stated it has operated within the law in Ireland.
The commission refused to disclose a deadline as to when it expects the now three-year probe to conclude.
However, as the Irish Times notes, Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said in July that a final decision on the probe into the Irish government may come in September or October. ®