In 2016, the Commission, which is the executive wing of the European Union, had concluded that Ireland had enabled Apple to pay “substantially less tax than other businesses over many years,” and ordered a payment of back taxes.
Apple and Ireland appealed the decision, and on Wednesday, the European General Court said it was annulling the contested decision “because the Commission did not succeed in showing to the requisite legal standard that there was an advantage.”
“We are pleased they have annulled the Commission’s case,” Apple said in a statement. “This case was not about how much tax we pay, but where we are required to pay 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.”
“Changes in how a multinational company’s income tax payments are split between different countries require a global solution, and Apple encourages this work to continue,” continued Apple.
The Irish government’s department of finance stated: “The correct amount of Irish tax was charged taxation in line with normal Irish taxation rules.”
“Ireland appealed the Commission decision on the basis that Ireland granted no state aid and the decision today from the Court supports that view.”
The Commission can now appeal the decision to the Court of Justice of the European Union, the highest legal decision-making body in Europe.