Apple and Ireland win appeal against €13 billion EU tax demand


Apple does not have to pay €13 billion in Irish back taxes, the EU’s second-highest court has ruled.

The European Commission ordered that the taxes be returned four years ago, saying that the US tech giant had benefitted from illegal state aid under two Irish tax rulings.

But the EU’s General Court on Wednesday ruled in favour of Apple and Ireland, saying in a statement: “The Commission did not succeed in showing to the requisite legal standard that there was an advantage.”

“The Commission was wrong to declare” that Apple “had been granted a selective economic advantage and, by extension, state aid”, it added.

Brussels had ordered Apple to pay for gross underpayment of tax on profits across the European bloc from 2003 to 2014.

It said the California-based firm used two shell companies incorporated in Ireland to reduce its tax burden to well under 1%.