Apple won its court fight over a record 13 billion-euro ($14.9 billion) Irish tax grab in a crushing blow to European Union Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager’s crackdown on preferential fiscal deals for companies.
While the EU General Court’s ruling can still be appealed, judges delivered a stinging attack on the European Commission for failing to show “to the requisite legal standard” that Ireland’s tax deal broke state-aid law by giving Apple an unfair advantage.
While the EU General Court’s ruling can still be appealed, judges delivered a stinging attack on the European Commission for failing to show “to the requisite legal standard” that Ireland’s tax deal broke state-aid law by giving Apple an unfair advantage. “The commission’s intent seemed to be a political one: to punish Apple for its overall tax planning, rather than to reach a result that accorded with the legal or economic position,” Dan Neidle, a tax lawyer with Clifford Chance said in a statement. “The court has, quite rightly, followed the law and not any wider political objectives.”
The Cupertino, California-based company had argued the EU wrongly targeted profits that should be taxed in the U.S. and “retroactively changed the rules” on how global authorities calculate what’s owed to them. The Irish finance ministry said the nation “has always been clear that there was no special treatment provided to the two Apple” units in the EU’s state-aid case.
Margrethe Vestager, who is in charge of competition at the commission, said she would “carefully study the judgment and reflect on possible next steps” and vowed to continue investigations into national tax deals with corporations to establish whether they constitute illegal subsidies.
The 2016 decision against Apple earned Ms. Vestager the nickname “tax lady” from President Trump… The decision is a blow to Ms. Vestager…
Apple and Ireland on Wednesday applauded the annulment of the tax case. Ireland reiterated that it gave no special treatment to Apple, and said that the company had paid taxes according to “normal Irish taxation rules.”
Apple said that it supports international talks over how countries should divide up taxation rights for multinational companies. “This case was not about how much tax we pay, but where we are required to pay it. We’re proud to be the largest taxpayer in the world as we know the important role tax payments play in society,” an Apple spokesman said.
MacDailyNews Take: Miraculously, justice is served!
A company’s business success, regardless of degree, doesn’t mean some quasi-governmental political confederation headed by a dingbat gets to retroactively grab whatever sum they want.
The dunce Vestager is out of her depth.
Is Ireland its own country or merely a vassal state to a quasi-governmental political confederation that’s already been hit with one very significant defection?
The EU’s retroactive tax grab is a farce. — MacDailyNews, October 4, 2017
I think that Apple was targeted here. And I think that (anti-US sentiment) is one reason why we could have been targeted. People in leadership positions in several countries tell me that this is the agenda. I don’t know where that comes from. But what I feel strongly about is that this decision was politically based, of that I’m very confident. There is no reason for it in fact or in law… At a worldwide level, Apple pays income tax of 26.1 percent… I’d be the first to say that the tax system needs to be reformed and that it should be made simple and straightforward. But it should be talked about going forward, not in a way that retrofits the law to what others wish it was. It’s patently unfair and not what you expect from a developed country that has a history of rule and law. — Apple CEO Tim Cook, September 1, 2016