Apple Tax Probe Verdict May Come in July, Ireland’s Noonan Says

The European Commission may deliver its verdict on Apple Inc.’s tax arrangements in Ireland as soon as next month, according to Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan, offering the first clues to a firm timeline for a decision.

European authorities opened the probe in 2014, and in preliminary findings, said Apple’s tax arrangements were improperly designed to give the company a financial boost in exchange for jobs in Ireland.

“The speculation now is that the commission may make a decision sometime in July,’’ Noonan said in an interview in Luxembourg on Thursday. “But we don’t know that with certainty. It’s the general feel around Brussels that they’re walking toward a July decision.”

Ireland will fight any negative commission decision to the EU courts, Noonan said. The government will “vigorously defend’’ any adverse Apple tax decision, he has said previously. The EU has gathered information on hundreds of companies and their agreements with national authorities as part of a clampdown on sweetheart tax deals that may be illegal state aid.

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