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EU court to rule next week on Apple’s 13 billion euro tax case

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

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(Brian Lawless/PA)

(Brian Lawless/PA)

(Brian Lawless/PA)

The EU General Court will making a ruling next week on Ireland’s 13 billion euro Apple tax case.

The European Union’s second highest court will deliver its verdict next Wednesday.

The European Commission ruled in 2016 that the Irish state had given undue tax benefits worth 13 billion euro 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.

Tanaiste Leo Varadkar said at the time: “It’s a very disingenuous question and solution.

“The truth is whether the state withdraws its appeal or not is irrelevant. Apple is appealing this judgment as well. So this will continue to be a matter for courts no matter what the Government does.”

The judgment has been listed for 11am on Wednesday July 15.

PA