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EU court set to rule on Republic's €13bn Apple tax case row

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Appeal likely: Leo Varadkar

Appeal likely: Leo Varadkar

Appeal likely: Leo Varadkar

The EU General Court will make a ruling next week on Ireland's €13bn Apple tax case.

The European Union's second highest court will deliver its verdict on Wednesday.

The European Commission ruled in 2016 that the Republic had given undue tax benefits worth €13bn (£11.7bn) to Apple, which is illegal under EU state aid rules, and said it allowed the tech giant to pay substantially less tax than other businesses.

Ireland was ordered to recover the illegal aid, plus interest.

The commission found that Ireland gave Apple illegal state aid by allowing it to pay an effective 1% corporation tax.

The company and the Irish Government appealed against the commission's ruling on the grounds that the tax treatment did not break Irish or EU law.

The money has been held in an escrow account, meaning the proceeds cannot be released until there has been a final determination in the European courts over the validity of the commission's decision.

Ireland's open economy is based on low corporate taxation among other incentives to attract multinationals. In Apple's case it was significantly below the standard 12.5% imposed on income.

The Irish Government opposes any effort to force it to change its taxation practices, which have tempted some of the world's leading financial and technology firms to set up base in Dublin.

In April Rise TD Paul Murphy called for the money to go towards the nation's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The judgment has been listed for 11am on Wednesday, July 15 - but that may not be the end of the issue.

Tanaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar said the judgment was likely to be appealed by one of the parties.

"I think that no matter what the judgment is, this case will almost certainly be appealed by one party or another to the European Court of Justice," Mr Varadkar said yesterday.

Belfast Telegraph