Levin, McCain Statement on Letter from Irish Ambassador to the United States

Friday, May 31, 2013

WASHINGTON – Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., the subcommittee’s ranking member, issued the following statement today in response to a letter from the Irish Ambassador to the United States [PDF], Michael Collins, regarding the subcommittee’s investigation of Apple’s offshore tax avoidance. In that letter, Ambassador Collins asserts that Ireland’s tax system imposed a strict 12.5 percent tax on trading income and there was “no possibility of individual tax rates being negotiated for companies.” Ambassador Collins also denies that Ireland is a tax haven for multinational corporations. 

The statement from Sens. Levin and McCain follows:

“Records obtained by the subcommittee clearly reflect that, for years, Apple paid Irish tax authorities a nominal rate, far below Ireland’s statutory rate of 12.5 percent, on trading income. Testimony by key Apple executives, including CEO Tim Cook and Head of Tax Operations Phillip Bullock, corroborates that Apple had a special arrangement with the Irish government that, since 2003, resulted in an effective tax rate of 2 percent or less. Most reasonable people would agree that negotiating special tax arrangements that allow companies to pay little or no income tax meets a common-sense definition of a tax haven.”