Back in 2016, a two-year-long investigation taken out by the European Commission took place that concluded that Apple has been paying far less tax than other companies due to special treatment by the Irish Government. Since the investigation has concluded, The EU has ordered the major tech giant to pay Ireland over €13 billion in taxes and interest that the company hasn’t paid. However, Apple along with the Irish Government have fought the case against the EU.
Apple, who are not happy with the hefty price, are taking the matter to the second-highest EU court named EGC that is based in Luxembourg. At EGC, Apple will attempt to persuade the Commission that it did not break any of the EU tax laws. At the same time, Irish lawyers will also attend the court hearing to prove that Ireland treats every company the same.
Ireland officials have alleged that the Commission has “made manifest errors” in both its state aid assessment and understanding of Irish tax law. Meanwhile, Apple officials have said this entire situation “defies reality and common sense”.
Although it is possible that Apple is operating legally, the tech giant still plays insanely low tax rates. Apple paid only 0.005% tax on its European profits in 2014. Meanwhile, it is estimated that small business in Ireland pays an average of 12.5% on their profits.
Many have criticised Ireland for sticking beside Apple. However, it is quite clear that Ireland does NOT want the tech giant to leave their country. Apple generates Ireland an enormous amount of income because of the number of jobs it offers to Irish people.
Ireland was previously forced to collect the billions from Apple, and that money is currently resting in an escrow account until the appeals process has concluded.
It almost seems insane that Ireland hasn’t accepted the money with open hands. However, there is a logical reason for it. Like many technology giants, the European Apple HQ is operated inside Ireland. This creates enormous amounts of job opportunities for Irish citizens. The Irish Government are making in or around the same money that they would gain from the legal battle. Ireland would rather keep Apple than receive a few billion as it would benefit them more in the long run.
Luxembourg is supporting Ireland in the appeal, while Poland is supporting the Commission.
US President Donald Trump has also accused Europeans of deliberately attacking American technology giants.
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