November 11, 2016
The Irish government has filed an appeal against the European Commission’s ruling that Apple must hand over $14.5 billion in unpaid taxes to Ireland.
The move comes three months after the record-breaking ruling from the European Commission which said Ireland had granted the iPhone maker illegal tax benefits.
Ireland’s finance ministry has denied wrongdoing and even accused the Commission of trying to undermine its country’s tax system.
“The government fundamentally disagrees with the European Commission’s analysis and the decision left no choice but to take an appeal to the European Courts,” finance minister Michael Noonan told EU politicians in a speech this week.
The appeal has been filed with the EU’s top appellate court, known as the General Court.
The European Commission opened an investigation in the summer of 2014 to determine if Ireland was indeed acting as a tax sanctuary for Apple. The two-year probe determined that Apple’s deal with Ireland enabled the company, between 2003 and 2014, to pay very little on the business it does in Europe.
Because of that deal, Apple was able to channel revenue from two Irish subsidiaries to a “head office” with “no employees, no premises, no real activities,” Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said.
At the time of the ruling, Noonan told Reuters an appeal would be “necessary to defend the integrity of our tax system; to provide tax certainty to business; and to challenge the encroachment of EU state aid rules into the sovereign member state competence of taxation.”
The appeal will please Apple, whose CEO Tim Cook has accused the EU of trying to “rewrite Apple’s history in Europe, ignore Ireland’s tax laws and upend the international tax system in the process.”
Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.