When considering this EU decision to the effect that APPLE owes €13 Billion in taxes, two over-riding factors need to be borne in mind:
It is not good. It paints Ireland as a tax haven which facilitates multinationals to avoid paying large sums of tax in other jurisdictions.
This was re-in forced by Oxfam’s report on tax havens published this week.
The Commission has exceeded its powers and misinterpreted both Irish Tax Law and practice and also EU State Aid Legislation.
In addition, the EU is seeking to impose 2016 rules and regulations on matters that took place many years ago when national and inter-national tax practices were very different.
In 2014 the General Court ruled against EU Commission’s state aid case against the above three companies. The reason the General Court found in their favour was based on the nature of how state aid is defined. This will be critical in the Irish case.
For a tax concession or a tax ruling, such as that given to Apple, to qualify as illegal state aid, four criteria must be fulfilled:
Both Ireland and Apple have lodged appeals. Only one thing is sure the lawyers will make loads of money as this case winds its way through the different EU judicial layers and will end being adjudicated by General Court of the European Court of Justice in Luxemburg (another country with plenty of controversial tax rulings).
We are happy to help. Please post your comment below or contact Gerry Higgins, Tax Partner on 01 677 9000 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.