Nov 9, 2023

Apple should pay €13bn Irish tax, argues EU lawyer

Three years ago, a ruling which found Apple had been given illegal tax breaks by the Irish government was overturned. In 2016, the European Commission decided Apple had received unfair preferential treatment from the Irish government, allowing it to pay a much lower rate of tax than other companies. The Irish government has argued that Apple should not have to repay the back taxes, deeming that its loss was worth it to make the country an attractive home for large companies. Although corporation tax rates for businesses are set nationally, and are not subject to the EU's jurisdiction, the trade bloc does have extensive powers to regulate state aid and in this case, it argued that by applying very low tax rates to Apple, Ireland was granting it an unfair subsidy. Two years ago, the lower court, known as the General Court, ruled that the European Commission's decision that Apple should pay back taxes was legally flawed and should be set aside, but that ruling itself could now be overturned after the latest twist.

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