Apple's $14.9 billion tax bill overturned by EU court
What you need to know
- The General Court of the European Union has delivered its judgment in the case of Apple and Ireland.
- The court has annulled the previous ruling.
- The court said the Commission did not prove that the arrangement was a selective economic advantage.
The General Court of the European Union has overturned a ruling stating that Apple should pay nearly $15 billion in tax to the Irish Government.
#EUGeneralCourt annuls the decision taken by the @EU_Commission regarding the Irish #TaxRulings in favour of @Apple #Apple #EUCommission #StateAid pic.twitter.com/KoF6r1n82S#EUGeneralCourt annuls the decision taken by the @EU_Commission regarding the Irish #TaxRulings in favour of @Apple #Apple #EUCommission #StateAid pic.twitter.com/KoF6r1n82S— EU Court of Justice (@EUCourtPress) July 15, 2020July 15, 2020
Both Apple and Ireland appealed a ruling stating that Apple owed the country nearly $15 billion in tax payments and that arrangements between the two countries were unfair, and amounted to state aid.
In a ruling issued this morning the court stated:
The ruling further stated:
The court also ruled that the Commission "did not succeed" in demonstrating methodological errors in the contested tax rulings which would have led to a reduction in ASI and AOE's chargeable profits in Ireland.
Whilst the court noted that the contested tax rulings were by nature "incomplete and occasionally inconsistent", the defects themselves were not sufficient in proving that Apple received an advantage akin to state aid. The court also stated that the Commission did not prove that the contested rulings were the result of discretion exercised by the Irish tax authorities and that, accordingly, ASI and AOE had been granted an advantage.
The case is likely to be appealed by the EU, limited to points of law, and brought before the European Court of Justice within two months and ten days of today. An appeal of the ruling is likely to extend the dispute by another 2-3 years. An appeal by the EU would need to demonstrate that the GCEU has incorrectly interpreted and applied the law to the facts of the case.
The Irish Government's department of finance said it "welcomes the judgment" in a statement to iMore:
In a statement, the European Commission's Executive VP Margrethe Vestager stated:
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Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.
Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9
This was a ‘not proven’ verdict, so it will go to some sort of appeal. If the EU present their case properly at that, then they have a strong chance of changing it to a guilty verdict. Basically, the EU screwed their own case.