The General Court of the European Union (GCEU) canceledtoday a European Commission decision that forced Apple to pay 13 billion euros (almost R $ 80 billion) in taxes to the irish government. The information is RTÉ.
As many may remember (or not), the Cupertino giant was ordered to pay the billionaire fine in 2016, when the EU determined that the tax benefits offered by the Irish government to Apple since 1991 (that is, for more than two decades ) were illegal. At the time, both the Irish government and Apple appealed the determination.
With today’s decision, the GCEU supported Apple and declared that the EU authority responsible for the prosecution – led by the head of the agency’s antitrust core, Margrethe Vestager – failed to show that Ireland’s tax arrangements with the company were illegal. The EU, however, can (and should) appeal the decision.
Apple welcomed the decision, declaring to the Bloomberg that the case “was not about the amount of taxes”, but where the company is “obliged to pay”. In addition, she added that she paid more than $ 100 billion in corporate taxes around the world in the last decade and “tens of billions more in other rates”.
The Irish Ministry of Finance said that «it has always been clear that there has been no special treatment of Apple’s operations in the country», echoing the charge of illicit tax aid.
Although Apple has already paid for 14.5 billion euros (€ 13.1 billion originally charged by the agency, plus € 1.4 billion in interest), the amount is currently in an EU guarantee account – where it will remain until the outcome of any appeal on the case.
As we said, it is likely that the EU will appeal today’s decision, taking the case back to the GCEU in two months. If that happens, the process could be extended for another two or three years … that is, this dispute is not over yet.