Apple scored a big win in European courts, with the General Court of the European Union ruling Apple’s tax deal with Ireland was legal.
The issue began when the European Commission (EC) ruled that Apple’s tax deal with Ireland was illegal, and improperly granted Apple an extraordinarily low tax rate. As a result, the EC said Apple owed some €13 billion in back taxes. Needless to say, Apple contested the ruling and vowed to fight it. Likewise, Ireland had a vested interest in the deal remaining in effect.
Ireland has developed a reputation for having very favorable tax laws, especially for big corporations. This has led many companies to move part of their business to the country, creating jobs and more than offsetting the benefits that would be gained from higher taxes. Despite Apple and Ireland vehemently defending their arrangement, the EC had ruled it was illegal, prompting the €13 billion tax bill.
The decision by the General Court of the European Union, the EU’s second-highest court, is a big win for Apple, Ireland and every other company that uses Ireland to get a lower tax rate.
Meanwhile, Margrethe Vestager, the regulator who has made a reputation going after big companies, made the following statement:
“We will carefully study the judgment and reflect on possible next steps.”