TECHNOLOGY

Apple wins appeal against $15 billion EU tax bill

Jul 15, 2020, 6:13 AM
new Mac lineup Apple...
FILE: Apple European headquarters at Hollyhill industrial estate in Co Cork. (Photo by Niall Carson/PA Images via Getty Images)
(Photo by Niall Carson/PA Images via Getty Images)

    (CNN) — Apple has won its appeal against a European Commission ruling that it owed Ireland €13 billion ($14.9 billion) in taxes.

The European Union’s second highest court ruled Wednesday that the Commission had not proven that the company had received illegal state aid from Ireland through favorable tax agreements.

The European Commission — Europe’s top antitrust authority — said in 2016 that the Irish government had granted Apple an illegal advantage by helping the iPhone maker keep its tax bill artificially low for more than 20 years.

But Ireland didn’t want the money. The small country became the European base for companies such as Apple, Google and Facebook because it has one of the lowest corporate tax rates in Europe. So it teamed up with Apple to fight the Commission.

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

“We’re proud to be the largest taxpayer in the world as we know the important role tax payments play in society. Apple has paid more than $100 billion in corporate income taxes around the world in the last decade and tens of billions more in other taxes,” the spokesperson added.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has previously said the ruling had “no basis in fact or in law,” calling it “obvious targeting of Apple.”

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

“The correct amount of Irish tax was charged taxation in line with normal Irish taxation rules,” the finance ministry said in a statement.

The court ruling is a major blow to the Commission, which has sought to crack down on what it considers unfair tax deals in Europe. The Commission could appeal the decision to Europe’s highest court.

Margrethe Vestager, the Commission’s top antitrust official, said she was carefully studying the judgment before deciding on next steps. But she vowed that the Commission would continue to aggressively pursue what it considers “illegal state aid.”

“At the same time, state aid enforcement needs to go hand in hand with a change in corporate philosophies and the right legislation to address loopholes and ensure transparency. We have made a lot of progress already at national, European and global levels, and we need to continue to work together to succeed,” Vestager said in a statement.

— James Frater contributed to this article.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2020 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

Today’s Top Stories

Technology

Doctoral student Suzi Creveling talks about her work on the Utah Bionic Leg in the new University o...
Mark Jones

University of Utah researchers unveil Utah Bionic Leg

The Utah Bionic Leg, unveiled Wednesday, was developed by researchers at the University of Utah,
23 hours ago
Twitter might get bought by Elon Musk after all. Twitter screen shown on phone...
TOM KRISHER, MATT O'BRIEN and RANDALL CHASE Associated Press

Musk offers to end legal fight, pay $44B to buy Twitter

The offer comes just two weeks before the Twitter lawsuit seeking to force Musk to go through with the deal goes to trial in Delaware Chancery Court.
2 days ago
IRS texts are bogus. Picture shows a sign saying "warning, scam alert" on a keyboard...
Mark Jackson

IRS warns taxpayers of ‘smishing’ scams involving IRS-themed texts

The IRS never texts asking for personal information, and it warns that messages claiming to be from the IRS are bogus and risky. Texting scams aim to get people's personal data.
2 days ago
Amazon email...
Samantha Murphy Kelly, CNN Business

Amazon is always watching

At an invite-only press event last week, Amazon unveiled a long list of product updates ahead of the holiday shopping season that appear designed to further insert its gadgets and services into every corner of our homes with the apparent goal of making everything a little easier.
4 days ago
Trucks are lined up for sale at Low Book Sales in Lindon on Thursday, Feb. 3, 2022. Most new vehicl...
Heather Kelly

Automatic emergency braking should only be used as a last resort

AAA of Utah says automatic emergency braking systems have limitations and should only be used as a last resort to prevent a crash.
7 days ago
Netflix gaming...
Catherine Thorbecke, CNN Business

Netflix to open its own video game studio as part of gaming pivot

The streaming giant is building its first in-house video game studio in Helsinki, Finland, as it expands its empire over mobile games.
8 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
large group of friends tohether in a park having fun...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

What differentiates BYU’s MBA program from other MBA programs

Commitment to service is at the heart of BYU’s MBA program, which makes it stand out among other MBA programs across the country.
a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Apple wins appeal against $15 billion EU tax bill