Friday 25 September 2020 2:15 pm

Brussels to appeal court ruling over Apple’s €13bn Irish tax bill

The European Commission today said it will appeal a court decision that overturned a ruling for Apple to pay back €13bn (£11.8bn) in back taxes to Ireland.

In July the General Court scrapped a 2016 ruling by the Commission that found Ireland’s selective tax breaks constituted illegal state aid and ordered Apple to pay back the money.

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The Luxembourg-based court said EU competition regulators had not met the required legal standard to show the tech giant had enjoyed an unfair tax advantage.

Announcing the appeal, EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager said the judgement raised “important legal issues”, adding that the commission “respectfully considers that in its judgment the General Court has made a number of errors of law”.

“Making sure that all companies, big and small, pay their fair share of tax remains a top priority for the Commission,” she added.

The court’s decision was a major setback for Vestager, who has become known for her hardline approach to tech giants.

The Brussels bigwig today called on EU nations to revamp their tax rules, stating that legislation must be brought in to close loopholes and ensure transparency.

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Apple said the judgement had proved it complied with Irish tax laws and said the issue was about where it should pay its taxes, rather than the amount.

Irish finance minister Paschal Donohoe said his country had always maintained that the right amount of tax was paid and that no state aid was provided.

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