On the evening of May 23, Beijing time, it is reported that the European Commission, the EU's antitrust regulator, appealed to Apple today, hoping to overturn a previous ruling by a lower court. Apple is required to continue to pay 13 billion euros ($14.3 billion) in back taxes to the Irish government.
As early as August 2016, the European Commission ruled that Apple had illegally evaded 13 billion euros in taxes in Ireland, and Apple had to return the tax to the Irish government. Both Apple and the Irish government expressed dissatisfaction with the ruling and filed an appeal.
In July 2020, Apple won the appeal. The European Union's second highest court, the European General Court of Justice (General Court), ruled that the European Commission had failed to prove that Ireland's tax arrangement with Apple was illegal state aid. Subsequently, the European Commission filed an appeal.
The case is the most high-profile case of Margrethe Vestager, the EU antitrust commissioner, against illegal trade between multinationals and EU countries, with far-reaching implications for corporate tax bills.
Today, the two sides returned to court and went to court. "the outcome of this case will determine whether member states can continue to give multinational companies substantial tax cuts in exchange for jobs and investment," European Commission lawyer Paul John Lowenthal told judges of the European Court of Justice.
The European Commission said in its 2016 ruling that two tax decisions made by the Irish government over the past 20 years had artificially reduced Apple's tax burden. In 2014, for example, Apple's tax rate was only 0.005%. But the European Court of Justice held that the European Commission did not legally prove that Apple enjoyed an unfair advantage.
But Lowenthal told the judge today that the previous decision of the European Court of Justice was legally flawed and should be shelved. Apple, on the other hand, refuted the European Commission's claim that it had paid a fair share of taxes in Ireland.
Daniel Beard, a lawyer representing Apple, said: "what we call profits, what the European Commission calls profits that should be attributed to Apple's Irish branch, are actually regulated by the US tax system."
"Apple has set up reserves to pay these taxes in the United States and is currently paying about 20 billion euros in taxes on these profits in the United States," Bild said. The European Commission said the profits should be taxed by Ireland. In fact, Apple has already paid the taxes payable under Irish tax law. "
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