Apple wins tax battle with EU and avoids $15bn payout
Apple won a 2016 legal case against the European Commission on Wednesday and will avoid the $15bn tax payout.
The European Union's general court ruled on Wednesday that the European Commission had presented insufficient proof to back claims that Ireland had enabled Apple to pay less tax than other businesses.
The Commission, the executive arm of the EU, had concluded in August 2016 that the Irish government granted illegal tax benefits to Apple. It also decided that Apple had to pay back $15bn in taxes.
The Irish government and Apple decided to appeal the Commission’s decision.
Ireland, Apple and the European Commission now have two months to decide if they want to appeal the latest court ruling. If they decide to do so, the case will go to the highest European court.
Ireland's government said on Wednesday that it has always been clear “that there was no special treatment provided to the two Apple companies” and that “the correct amount of Irish tax was charged taxation in line with normal Irish taxation rules.”
In response to the 2016 case, and many others involving tech giants such as Facebook and Amazon, there’s an ongoing debate as to whether the European Union should have its own digital tax to ensure that such companies pair fair taxes.