CJEU Case C-678/17 | European Commission v Ireland

Author Details
Author (Corporate)
Series Details C-678/17
Publication Date 2017-2018
Content Type


Judgment from the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) concerning the failure by Ireland to recover State Aid from Apple worth up to €13bn, as required by a Decision from the European Commission.

Further information:

The European Commission announced on 30 August 2016 that Ireland's tax benefits to Apple were illegal under EU state aid rules, as it allowed the company to pay substantially less tax than other businesses. As a matter of principle, EU State aid rules require that illegal State aid is recovered in order to remove the distortion of competition created by the aid. The deadline for Ireland to implement the Commission's decision on Apple's tax treatment was 3 January 2017. Over a year following that Decision, Ireland was still yet to recover any of the illegal aid.

The Commission announced in October 2017 its decision to refer Ireland to the CJEU. The Action was brought to the Court on 5 December 2017. An agreement between Apple and the Irish Government was signed in April 2018 concerning the recovery of the amount. An Order was published on 8 November 2018 announcing the discontinuance of the case as Ireland had by then taken the measures necessary to comply with the obligations arising from the Commission's Decision.

A separate CJEU Case was still active relating to an appeal concerning the Commission's Decision itself.

Related Link(s)
Commentary and Analysis
The Irish Times, 05/10/2017: Why is EU taking Ireland to court over €13bn Apple tax bill? https://www.irishtimes.com/business/economy/why-is-eu-taking-ireland-to-court-over-13bn-apple-tax-bill-1.3245586
Independent.ie, 05/10/2017: Who is right - the EU or Ireland? http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/who-is-right-the-eu-or-ireland-36198670.html

Reuters, 04/10/2017: Ireland says EU action over 13 billion euro Apple tax bill 'regrettable' https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSKCN1C918Z
Politico, 04/10/2017: Vestager takes Ireland to court over Apple’s taxes https://www.politico.eu/article/vestager-takes-ireland-to-court-over-apples-taxes/
Reuters, 04/10/2017: EU takes Ireland to court for not claiming Apple tax windfall https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSKCN1C913I
The New York Times, 04/10/2017: E.U., Citing Amazon and Apple, Tells Nations to Collect Tax https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/04/business/eu-tax-amazon-apple.html
EurActiv, 25/04/2018: Apple, Ireland strike deal on €13bn tax payment https://www.euractiv.com/section/economy-jobs/news/apple-ireland-strike-deal-on-13-billion-euro-tax-payment/
Irish Examiner, 24/04/2018: Government reaches deal with Apple to allow for collection of €13bn in disputed taxes https://www.irishexaminer.com/news/arid-30838965.html
Deutsche Welle, 24/04/2018: Apple poised to pay Ireland billions in back taxes as appeal looms https://p.dw.com/p/2wapG
The Irish Times, 24/04/2018: Apple and Donohoe clear final hurdle for repayment of €13bn disputed tax bill https://www.irishtimes.com/business/technology/apple-and-donohoe-clear-final-hurdle-for-repayment-of-13bn-disputed-tax-bill-1.3472685

CJEU CURIA: Case C-678/17 | Commission v Ireland http://curia.europa.eu/juris/documents.jsf?num=C-678/17
European Commission: Press Release, 04/10/2017: State aid: Commission refers Ireland to Court for failure to recover illegal tax benefits from Apple worth up to €13 billion https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/IP_17_3702
European Commission: Statement by Commissioner Vestager on illegal tax benefits to Amazon in Luxembourg and referring Ireland to Court for failure to recover illegal tax benefits from Apple (4 October 2017) https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/STATEMENT_17_3714
Ireland: Department of Finance: Press Release, 24/04/2018: Minister Donohoe announces intention to sign and execute Escrow Framework Deed with Apple giving legal effect to recovery of alleged State aid https://www.gov.ie/en/press-release/b21862-minister-donohoe-announces-intention-to-sign-and-execute-escrow-fram/
Ireland: Department of Finance: Press Release, 18/05/2018: Minister Donohoe confirms first payment of alleged State aid from Apple https://www.gov.ie/en/press-release/a84193-minister-donohoe-confirms-first-payment-of-alleged-state-aid-from-ap/
Ireland: Department of Finance; Press Release, 18/09/2018: Minister Donohoe confirms the recovery of the alleged State Aid from Apple https://www.gov.ie/en/press-release/226ddf-minister-donohoe-confirms-the-recovery-of-the-alleged-state-aid-from/

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