Ireland: EU Court verdict in Apple case a setback for use of state aid rules against tax rulings

A decision by the General Court of the European Union in mid-July has struck a blow to the use of EU rules on state aid as a tool for regulators to question Member States’ tax rulings.

The Court decided that tech giant Apple should not have to pay Ireland €13bn in back taxes in a significant victory for Apple against the European Commission. Apple had appealed against a 2016 decision by the Commission that the Irish government had given the company illegal state aid. Brussels regulators argued that Ireland had allowed Apple to attribute nearly all its EU earnings to an Irish head office that existed only on paper, thereby avoiding paying tax on revenues generated in the EU.

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