Apple wins appeal against $ 15 billion EU tax bill

The second Supreme Court of the European Union ruled on Wednesday that the Commission did not prove that the company had received illegal state aid through tax agreements favorable to Ireland.
The European Commission – Europe’s top antitrust authority – said the Irish government had given permission in 2016 Apple (AAPL) An illegal benefit by helping the iPhone manufacturer keep its tax bill artificially low for more than 20 years.
But Ireland did not want money. The small country became the European base for companies like Apple, Google (GOOGL) And Facebook (American Plan) Because it has one of the lowest corporate tax rates in Europe. So it formed a commission with Apple.

In a statement, Apple’s spokesperson told CNN Business that the company is “pleased” with the decision, arguing that it was never the case how much tax it pays, but where it pays.

“We are proud to be the largest tax payer in the world because we know the important role in society is the role of tax payments. Apple has paid more than $ 100 billion in corporate income taxes worldwide over the last decade and tens of billions. More taxes, ”the spokesperson said.

Apple CEO Tim Cook previously said the ruling had “no basis in fact or in law,” calling it “Apple’s explicit targeting”.

The Irish government also welcomed the decision, stating that it had never provided special treatment to Apple.

The Finance Ministry said in a statement, “The exact amount of Irish tax was charged to taxation according to the general Irish taxation rules.”
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The court’s decision is a major setback for the commission, which has sought a moratorium on the consideration of unfair tax deals in Europe. The Commission may appeal the decision of the Supreme Court of Europe.

The Commission’s top rival officer, Margaret Westeger, said she was carefully studying the decision before deciding on the next steps. But she swore that the commission would move aggressively to consider “illegal state aid”.

“At the same time, state aid enforcement needs to go hand-in-hand with the right legislation to reduce corporate philosophy and change and ensure transparency. We have already made a lot of progress at the national, European and global levels, and we have There is a need to continue working together to be successful, ”Westeger said in a statement.

– James Frater contributed to this article.