The European Commission of Appeals has ruled in favor of Ireland in a lawsuit filed by Apple Computer against a $ 14.3 billion decision by a tech giant.
The ruling finance minister, Paschal Donohue, said the state would continue to ensure that the interests of the European Commission were protected, despite expectations.
The current stage of this problem has now taken four years to reach. I would say it will take years to decide further, ”he said.
“The Commission … I respectfully note that the General Court has made a number of legal errors in its judgment,” said Margaret Westergeer of the European Commission.
The General Court has repeatedly affirmed the principle that “while member states have the power to determine tax laws, they must do so in relation to EU law, including state aid laws,” she added.
“If member states give certain multinational companies tax benefits that are not available to their competitors, this violates state union rules and adversely affects fair competition in the European Union.”
In July, the European Court of Justice ruled that Apple’s arrangement in Ireland was tantamount to illegal benefits from the state, saying the commission had “failed to meet the required legal standards”. It overturned an earlier order requiring the company to pay $ 14.3 billion to the Republic.
The ruling in favor of Ireland and Apple was a setback for Westerger’s attempts to impose controls on tech behemoths and block what appears to be the girlfriend’s tax transaction.
The Irish government has always argued that no state aid was given to Apple.
“Ireland has not yet been served with the formal notification of the appeal,” Finance Minister Pascal Donohue said in a statement.
“Once it is received, it will take some time for the government to respond to this appeal, to consider in detail the legal reasons stated in the appeal and to consult with the government’s legal advisers.”
A spokesman for Apple said tax liabilities have always been paid.
The Commission’s case was dismissed by the General Court in July, and the facts have not changed since then. This case was never about how much tax we should pay, but where it should be paid instead, ”the spokesman said.
We will review it when we receive the Commission’s appeal, however, it will not change the factual conclusions of the General Court, which proves that we have always complied with Irish law, as we do everywhere we work. ”
The appeal process may take up to two years to complete. Until the final decision, the $ 14.3 billion in funds, including interest, will remain in the Escrow account from 2018, mostly in the form of bonds.
The Commission was careful to file an appeal, believing that the July ruling would create a high barrier to the “required legal criteria,” which could have implications for further cases taken by the Commission.
The Commission argues that Ireland allowed Apple to allow all European profits to “head offices” that were not based in any country. Its appeal is based on the argument that the General Court ignored the principle of arm’s length and the particular entity approach when determining tax liabilities.
Proponents of her case have been working to make the actual transcript of this statement available online.
Grant Thornton Ireland’s tax partner Peter Vale described the commission’s decision as “surprising.” The previous verdict was a complete failure of its case.
“From Ireland’s point of view, the EU Commission’s appeal has been in the spotlight for a number of years, which could adversely affect Ireland, regardless of the outcome,” Weil said.
“The Commission’s decision to appeal creates more uncertainty for investors looking at Ireland or the EU over the EU tax landscape,” he added. “Ultimately, I believe the ECJ will rule in favor of Ireland and Apple.”