The European Commission has broken the news that it will appeal against the July 2020 ruling of the European General Court which quashed the $15 billion fine Apple was charged with over State Aid dealing with tax arrangements in Ireland.
EU pointed out that the General Court( the second highest court of Europe) had “made a number of errors of law” by ruling in Apple’s favor. It believes that the Cupertino based tech-giant had gained illegal economic advantages over its tax payment arrangement in Ireland.
Apple replied with a statement saying that the case was not about the amount of tax to be paid, but whether they were required to pay it in a particular region or not. The company has stated before that since it does not generate any major profit in Europe it is not liable to pay taxes there on its earnings.
On the other hand given the harsh economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic EU has been trying to recoup taxes from the multinational companies in order to financially boost the floundering businesses and provide public aid to people who have lost their jobs.
EU feels that Apple receiving state aid in Ireland makes it unfair for other businesses, big and small, and creates an atmosphere of unfair competition.
Apple is insistent that the ruling given by the General Court in July 2020 is final and the appeal made by the EU can’t change that factually. The company stated that they will evaluate the appeal once they receive it and bullishly claimed that they had complied with all the relevant laws in Ireland just like they have been doing in other markets.
Irish Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe also backed up Apple. He said that the ruling of the General Court cleared the fact that Apple’s Irish branch had paid all the necessary taxes as per the law and Ireland had not provided any sort of illegal state aid to Apple.
Donohoe added that the appeal made by the EU which will be heard by the European Court of Justice (Europe’s version of the Supreme Court) is most probably based on certain legal points, and the process may take two years to complete.