- Title: Apple lashes back at $14 billion EU tax order
- Date: 17th September 2019
- Summary: CUPERTINO, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (FILE - SEPTEMBER 12, 2018) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF APPLE STORE STAFF MEMBER OPENING IPAD AND PLACING ON TABLE MAN PHOTOGRAPHING LAPTOPS LAPTOPS ON DISPLAY SHANGHAI, CHINA (FILE - OCTOBER 26, 2018) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF APPLE STORE APPLE LOGO ON APPLE STORE
- Embargoed: 1st October 2019 16:38
- Keywords: Ireland Stateaid Vestager iPhone Commissioner for Competition European Union Tim Cook Fiat Starbucks Taxation Amazon Apple
- Location: NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK AND CUPERTINO, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES / SHANGHAI, CHINA / LUXEMBOURG, LUXEMBOURG / BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
- City: NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK AND CUPERTINO, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES / SHANGHAI, CHINA / LUXEMBOURG, LUXEMBOURG / BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
- Country: Luxembourg
- Topics: Budget/Taxation/Revenue,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA006AX1RHXP
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Apple said the European Union's demand for 13 billion euros ($14 billion) in back taxes defied "reality and common sense" on Tuesday (September 17).
The tech giant is appealing to Europe's second-highest court based in Luxembourg to reverse the 2016 ruling that the company should pay a record sum to Ireland.
Ireland, whose economy has benefited from investment by multinational companies attracted by low tax rates, is also challenging the Commission's decision.
Apple also accused the Commission of using its powers to combat state aid "to retrofit changes to national law", in effect trying to change the international tax system and in the process creating legal uncertainty for businesses.
The EU executive dismissed the arguments, saying it was not seeking to police international tax laws and accused Ireland of not having done its homework when assessing Apple's taxes.
Apple's arguments at the General Court, Europe's second-highest, came after the EU executive in 2016 said the tech giant benefited from illegal state aid due to two Irish tax rulings which artificially reduced its tax burden for over two decades.
The case could make or break European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager's campaign which has also led to action against Starbucks, Fiat, Engie, Amazon and others.
Apple's Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri led a six-strong delegation to the court where a panel of five judges will hear arguments over two days.
Apple's lawyer in court, Daniel Beard, said that "The primary line [of enquiry] defies reality and common sense".
The court is expected to rule in the coming months, with the losing party likely to appeal to the EU Court of Justice and a final judgement could take several years.
(Production: Clement Rossignol, Hortense de Roffignac, Jorrit Donner-Wittkopf)
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