Earlier this year the European Commission ruled that Ireland was to collect up to €13 billion (~R190 billion) in back taxes from Apple. The Cupertino firm is now challenging that ruling.
To offer a bit of context, the Commission found that Irish tax officials and Apple had struck deals which amounted to state-aid between 1991 and 2007. “This selective treatment allowed Apple to pay an effective corporate tax rate of 1 per cent on its European profits in 2003 down to 0.005 per cent in 2014,” Commissioner Margethe Vestager said in a statement at the time.
State-aid is illegal under European Union (EU) rules and as a result Ireland was expected to recoup the taxes.
Apple said when the ruling was handed down that it would challenge it. The iPhone maker will lodge an appeal this week at a European high court citing that it can neither abide by the ruling nor make sense of the figures presented.
The firm argues that paying the back tax would violate Ireland’s past tax laws and create separate laws for companies owned by residents and locals. It will also argue that the Commission ignored testimony from an Irish tax expert which according to a report Engadget was allegedly done with a view to maximising the penalty.
“Now the Irish have put in an expert opinion from an incredibly well-respected Irish tax lawyer. The Commission not only didn’t attack that – didn’t argue with it, as far as we know – they probably didn’t even read it. Because there is no reference whatsoever,” Apple general counsel Bruce Sewell told Reuters.
Ireland is also challenging the Commission’s decision in a bid to protect a tax system that has attracted multinational employers to the country. It’s also worth remembering that Ireland was ordered to recover the money while the appeal is decided upon.[Via – Reuters] [Image – CC BY/2.0 i a walsh]