London, Sep 25 (IANS) The European Commission on Friday said it would appeal a court ruling that overturned its demand that Apple pay nearly $15 billion in tax to the Irish government.
The EU’s general court ruled in July this year that the European Commission failed to prove that the Irish government had given a tax advantage to the tech giant, reports CNBC.
“The Commission has decided to appeal before the European Court of Justice the General Court’s judgment of July 2020 on the Apple State aid case in Ireland,” the EU’s competition chief Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.
“We have to continue to use all tools at our disposal to ensure companies pay their fair share of tax”.
An Apple spokesperson said in a statement: “We will review the Commission’s appeal when we receive it, however it will not alter the factual conclusions of the General Court, which prove that we have always abided by the law in Ireland, as we do everywhere we operate.”
In July, Apple scored a big win when Europe’s second highest court rejected an EU order for the Cupertino-based iPhone maker to pay $15 billion in Irish back taxes.
The case goes back to August 2016 when the European Commission said that Apple benefited from illegal tax benefits in Ireland from 2003 to 2014.
In 2016, the EU ordered the iPhone maker to pay almost $15 billion in back taxes to Ireland as it believed Ireland had not been collecting enough taxes and instead had been giving companies like Apple too big of a break on its already low 12.5 per cent tax rate.
Apple reportedly moved its cash to the small island of Jersey off the south coast of England to avoid further Irish taxation.
The final decision will now be made by the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) which is the highest court in Europe.