In July, the European Union’s General Court ruled that the European Commission had failed to prove that the Irish government had given a tax advantage to the Apple. Now the Commission will now take the case to the highest court in Europe, reports CNBC.
“We have to continue to use all tools at our disposal to ensure companies pay their fair share of tax,” said the EU’s competition chief Margrethe Vestager.
The July ruling overturned the European Commission’s landmark 2016 finding that tax breaks Ireland granted to U.S. tech giant Apple gave it a competitive advantage, nullifying the order that Apple repay Ireland €13 billion (about US$14.8 billion).
The General Court said the EU authority had failed to show Ireland’s tax arrangements with the company were illegal state aid. The Europe’s anti-trust and consumer investigation agency claimed that Ireland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands attracted investment and jobs by helping big companies avoid tax in other countries, including EU members. The commission said Ireland was too lenient in rulings it gave to Apple and which helped the company shield tens of billions of dollars in profit from taxation.
At 12.5%, Ireland’s corporate tax rate beats the US rate of 35%. However, participating companies don’t pay that 12.5% under the double Irish structure.
CEO Tim Cook branded the European Commission ruling “total political crap.” Apple’s CEO also suggested the “retroactive” tax bill was an attempt by the EU to grab taxes owed to the U.S. treasury and harmonize tax rates across the 28-nation bloc.