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US Blocked From Backing Apple's EU Tax Appeal

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

26 December 2017


The General Court of the EU has rejected a request put forward by the US Government to involve itself in support of Apple's attempts to vindicate the tax rulings it received from Ireland.

The US's request for leave to intervene was lodged with the General Court in April. The European Commission raised objections to the application in May.

The dispute concerns the European Commission's April 2016 decision that two rulings provided by the Irish Government had "substantially and artificially lowered" the tax paid by Apple in Ireland since 1991. It estimated that EUR13bn in illegal aid must be recovered by the Irish authorities, plus interest.

Both the Irish Government and Apple have appealed against the ruling. In October, the Commission referred Ireland to the EU Court of Justice for its failure to collect the money.

Under EU law, any person able to establish an interest in the result of a case submitted to the Court is entitled to intervene.

The US had argued that its economic situation would be affected by the Apple case, to the extent that the amount the EU ordered Ireland to recover from Apple "could result in an increase in the amount of tax credits or deductions" that Apple's parent company could claim in the US if it decided "to repatriate profits obtained by its offshore subsidiaries."

However, the Court ruled that the US "has failed to establish the existence of a direct interest in the result of the case." It therefore rejected the US's request to intervene.

TAGS: compliance | tax | European Commission | tax compliance | Ireland | interest | law | tax credits | offshore | transfer pricing | United States | European Union (EU) | Europe

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