- Taxation: Apple pays Ireland the 13.1 billion that Brussels required for tax advantages and another 1,200 of interest
- EU: How has Apple managed to pay less tax in Ireland?
Apple will not have to pay up to 13,000 million euros in taxes not paid in Ireland . This has been decreed this Wednesday by the Court of Justice of the EU in a highly anticipated decision in which it gives a stick to the European Commission and a ruling that community technicians failed to demonstrate that the legal requirements were an advantage for the company.
The case dates back to August 2016, when the European Commission ordered Ireland to recover up to 13,000 million euros, plus interest, on taxes not paid by Apple between 2003 and 2014. The decision on the North American multinational, after three years of investigation , angered the Barack Obama government, which warned of possible retaliation for what they consider to be an openly hostile policy against the country's firms. He angered the multinational and the Irish Government itself, which has always maintained that the numbers are in order and there is nothing to collect.
According to the file launched by the Competition department, led by the Danish Magrethe Vestager, Ireland granted illegal state aid, allowing the firm to pay substantially less tax than other companies for many years. "This selective treatment allowed Apple to pay an effective rate of corporation tax on its profits of 1% in 2003, but even 0.005 in 2014," the Commissioner denounced four years ago.
Ireland has a 12.5% rate for profits, which is perfectly legal. And so-called 'tax rulings' are used, specific tax agreements, which are also allowed, as long as they do not discriminate. Many European partners do not like this, because many companies set their headquarters there to divert tax bases thanks to super-sophisticated accounting engineering, with which multinationals pay less than 1% on their sales from the Old Continent.
The High Court, however, considers that the Commission erred in declaring that tax rulings with Apple Sales International (ASI) and Apple Operations Europe (AOE) had "selective economic advantage" and therefore amounted to illegal covert aid.
Likewise, it considers that the Commission failed to demonstrate, in its subsidiary line of reasoning, "methodological errors in the contested tax rulings that would have led to a reduction in the attributable profits of ASI and AOE in Ireland". And although the General Court "regrets the incomplete and sometimes inconsistent nature of tax rulings , the defects identified by the Commission are not, in themselves, sufficient to demonstrate the existence of an advantage for the purposes of Article 107, paragraph 1 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU Nor is there sufficient evidence that tax rulings "were the result of the discretion exercised by the Irish tax authorities".
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