Apple has €13bn Irish tax bill overturned
Apple has been told that it will not have to pay Ireland € 13 billion (£ 11.6 billion) in back taxes after winning an appeal to the second highest court in the European Union.
A record European Commission judgment against the US tech giant follows in 2016.
The EU court said it quashed this decision because the Commission had not shown that Apple had violated the competition rules.
It is a blow to the EU that wants to crack down on the alleged tax avoidance.
“This case was not about how much tax we pay, but where we are supposed to pay it,” Apple said in a statement. “We are proud to be the largest taxpayer in the world because we know the important role that tax payments play in society.”
- Irish EU court appeal on Apple’s tax ruling
The European Commission brought the appeal after claiming that the Irish government had allowed Apple to attribute almost all of its EU earnings to an Irish office that existed only on paper.
He claimed that this had allowed the tech giant to avoid paying 13 billion euros in taxes on EU revenue and to have given it an unfair advantage over its competitors based in Ireland.
However, the Irish government claimed that Apple should not have refunded the taxes, believing that its loss was worth the effort to make the country an attractive home for large companies.
Ireland, which has one of the lowest corporate tax rates in the EU, is Apple’s base for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
The ruling could report bad news for EU efforts to crack down on other alleged corporate tax evasion cases.
European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager spent much of her time campaigning against the tax regimes she considered anti-competitive.
However, he lost a lawsuit against Starbucks last year for accusing him of paying taxes of € 30 million in the Netherlands. Decisions on Ikea and Nike’s tax provisions in that country are also expiring.