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EU wants to overturn Apple’s victory in a $15.8 billion tax dispute

The European Union is seeking to overturn Apple’s victory in a 13 billion-euro (about US$15.8 billion) tax dispute, saying judges used “contradictory reasoning” when they found that the company’s Irish units weren’t liable for huge payment, reports Bloomberg.

The EU said that the lower court improperly conflated the tech giant’s lack of employees at two Irish units and the company’s level of responsibility for intellectual property on iPhone and iPad sales across Europe. Judges failed to properly weigh the EU’s analysis of the Irish branches and showed “contradictory reasoning” in a separate part of their findings.

In July 2020, the European Union’s General Court overturned the EU’s landmark 2016 finding that tax breaks Ireland granted to U.S. tech giant Apple gave it a competitive advantage, nullifying the order that Apple repay Ireland €13 billion (about US$14.8 billion).

The Court said the EU authority, led by antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager, had failed to show Ireland’s tax arrangements with the company were illegal state aid. EU, the Europe’s anti-trust and consumer investigation agency claimed that Ireland, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands attracted investment and jobs by helping big companies avoid tax in other countries, including EU members. The commission said Ireland was too lenient in rulings it gave to Apple and which helped the company shield tens of billions of dollars in profit from taxation. 

At 12.5%, Ireland’s corporate tax rate beats the US rate of 35%. However, participating companies don’t pay that 12.5% under the double Irish structure.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the news editor of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.