Ireland launches appeal against EU Apple tax ruling

Ireland lodged a formal appeal Wednesday against a European Commission ruling ordering the country to collect billions of euros in unpaid taxes from tech giant Apple.

AFP| Last Updated: Nov 10, 2016, 06:43 AM IST

Ireland lodged a formal appeal Wednesday against a European Commission ruling ordering the country to collect billions of euros in unpaid taxes from tech giant Apple.

"Our application has now been lodged in the General Court of the European Union," a finance ministry spokesman said in a statement, confirming the move mooted in Brussels on Tuesday by Finance Minister Michael Noonan.

“The government disagrees profoundly with the commission’s analysis in the Apple state aid case, and our position on all aspects of the case is very well known,” the spokesman added.

Ireland`s appeal comes after the Commission`s ruling in August that Apple must pay €13 billion ($14.2 billion) in back-taxes, arguing Ireland broke EU state aid rules.

The EU`s competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, said the deal Ireland offered Apple allowed the US tech firm to pay a corporate tax rate of 1 percent on its European profits in 2003 down to 0.005 percent in 2014.

Immediately after the Commission ruling the Irish government said it would appeal the decision, on the basis that Apple had paid its taxes to the Irish state in full.

Dublin also cited the potential impact retrospective penalties could have on its future ability to attract foreign direct investment.

Speaking in Brussels on Tuesday, Noonan said Ireland’s reputation had been damaged unfairly by the commission`s stance.

"We don`t believe that Apple owed this money in Ireland at all,” he said.

“We share the OECD view that whatever they owe they owe to the United States and they paid everything that was due to be paid in Ireland," he said during an address to the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee in the European Parliament.

Noonan added that Apple is the biggest corporate taxpayer in Ireland on profits generated in the country, where the multinational employs 6,000 people in its Cork city campus.