Monday, December 4, 2023

Apple Could Pay ‘Total Political Crap’ $14 Billion Tax Bill to EU After All


Apple has suffered a setback in its €13 billion ($14 billion) tax dispute with Brussels after an advisor to the EU’s highest court said the company’s victory in an earlier ruling should be thrown out (via Financial Times).

Giovanni Pitruzzella, advocate-general of the European Court of Justice (ECJ), said on Thursday that Apple’s win in the EU General Court “should be set aside” because it is riddled with mistakes.

While such opinions by advocates-general are non-binding, the top EU tribunal follows such advice in the majority of cases, and it is set to issue its binding ruling in the coming months.

In 2020, the General Court said it supported the EU’s right to investigate national tax arrangements, but it ultimately overturned a ruling by the European Commission stating that Apple should pay €13 billion euros in tax to the Irish government.

Following Apple’s appeal, the EU’s second-highest court said the EU authority, led by antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager, had failed to show that Apple had received an illegal economic advantage in Ireland over tax.

Four years earlier, Apple CEO Tim Cook called the EC’s original decision “total political crap” and said that Apple believed it would be reversed. “The decision is wrong, and it’s not based on law or facts, it’s based on politics. And I think it’s very important that we stand up and say that very loudly,” said Cook at the time.

However, Pitruzzella said on Thursday the General Court ruling had “committed a series of errors” and “failed to assess correctly the substance and consequences of certain methodological errors.” Pitruzzella said the court needed “to carry out a new assessment” as a result.

Responding to the opinion of the advocates-general, Apple said on Thursday that the lower court “was very clear that Apple received no selective advantage and no State aid, and we believe that should be upheld.”

An ECJ ruling is expected next year.Tags: European Union, European Commission, Apple-Ireland Tax Case
This article, “Apple Could Pay ‘Total Political Crap’ $14 Billion Tax Bill to EU After All” first appeared on

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