In August, the European Commission slammed Apple with a tax bill from hell over a sweetheart deal it received from Ireland—which, in the Commission’s view, constitutes “illegal state aid”.
Dublin promptly promised to join Apple’s fight against EU and it’s put its money where its mouth is.
Michael Noonan, Finance Minister in the Irish government, said that Dublin today challenged the EU judgment by submitting an appeal to the European courts in a bid to block the decision, ArsTechnica reports.
“The government fundamentally disagrees with the European Commission’s analysis,” Noonan told EU’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee yesterday. “The decision left the government no choice but to take an appeal to the European Courts and this will be submitted tomorrow.”
He said Dublin was seeking to protect “the integrity of our tax system, provide tax certainty to business” and to “challenge the encroachment of EU state aid rules into the sovereign member state competence of taxation.”
It is no secret that the Irish government doesn’t really want Apple to pay it €13 billion in back taxes (£11.1 billion or about $14.16 billion).
No, seriously—Dublin does not want the money.
Following a three-year investigation and a ruling in August that Apple had received €13 billion in “illegal state aid” from the Irish government, EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said that “EU member states cannot give tax benefits to selected companies—this is illegal under EU state aid rules.”
“The government fundamentally disagrees with the European Commission’s analysis and the decision left the government no choice but to take an appeal to the European courts,” Ireland’s finance minister fired back in September.
Apple, of course, is confident the decision will be overturned.
Apple’s position’s been that it follows the law and pays every cent of the taxes owed “wherever we operate,” likening EU’s ruling to an effort to “rewrite” Apple’s history in Europe, “ignore” Ireland’s tax laws and “upend” the global tax system in the process.
“The Commission’s case is not about how much Apple pays in taxes—it’s about which government collects the money,” Apple originally reacted to the massive tax bill.
U.S. treasury officials have argued that the EU ruling would “constitute a transfer of revenue to the EU from the US government and its taxpayers.”
The Cupertino firm employs more than 5,000 people in Ireland.
Source: Ars Technica