Statement by the Minister for Finance on the Government Decision to appeal the Apple State aid decision

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Series Details 02.09.16
Publication Date 02/09/2016
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The Irish Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan T.D. announced on the 2 September 2016 that the Government had decided to appeal the decision of the European Commission on the 30 August 2016 on the Apple State aid case.

The Minister noted that the Government would propose a motion to the Dáil the following week to support the appeal.

Some news sources suggested that the Irish coalition government had been divided on whether to appeal, as the Commission ruling seemed to offer the Irish government a major infusion of funds from Apple.

The European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager defended her ruling in a speech 'Working together for fairer taxation' to The Tax Dialogue, Copenhagen, 2 September 2016. She argued that special tax treatment for a specific company such as Apple was as much a benefit as handing the firm a bundle of cash and amounted to illegal state aid

Separately, Apple chief executive Tim Cook said he was 'very confident' the European Commission ruling would be overturned on appeal. He called the European Commission's decision 'maddening' and 'political'.

It was likely that Apple and Ireland would jointly appeal the decision to the European Court of Justice.

On the 19 December 2016 the the Irish Department of Finance issued a Explanation of the main lines of argument in Ireland’s annulment application lodged with the General Court of the European Union on 9 November 2016. In it Ireland accused EU regulators of unfairness, exceeding their competence, and attempting to breach Ireland's sovereignty in national tax affairs in this legal analysis.

Apple separately submitted its appeal to the General Court on the 19 December 2016.

The US Department of the Treasury also issued a statement on the 19 December 2016: 'Treasury has reviewed the European Commission's decision against Apple. We continue to believe‎ the Commission is retroactively applying a sweeping new State aid theory that is contrary to well-established legal principles, calls into question the tax rules of individual countries, and threatens to undermine the overall business climate in Europe‎. Moreover, it threatens to erode America's corporate tax base'.

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ESO: Background information: State aid: Ireland gave illegal tax benefits to Apple worth up to €13 billion
Politico, 02.09.16: Apple fight tests Europe’s operating system
BBC News, 02.09.16: Apple tax: Irish cabinet to appeal against EU ruling
The Guardian, 02.09.16: Irish government to appeal against Apple's €13bn tax bill
European Commission: The Commissioners: Margrethe Vestager: Announcement, 02.09.16: Speech: Working together for fairer taxation
The Guardian, 02.09.16: Apple tax: European commissioner defends €13bn ruling
EUObserver, 02.09.16: Ireland appeals Apple ruling, after 'intense' talks
EurActiv, 02.09.16: Irish cabinet decides to fight EU on Apple tax
Irish Independent, 04.09.16: Apple and Ireland against the world
The Wall Street Journal, 02.09.16: Ireland to Appeal EU’s Apple Tax Ruling
Euro|Topics: Debates, September 2016: Is Brussels right to intervene in Ireland's tax policy?
EurActiv, 08.09.16: Irish parliament backs Apple tax appeal after angry debate
EUObserver, 09.09.16: Irish government in moral dilemma on Apple tax
EurActiv, 19.12.16: Ireland set out arguments against EU in Apple tax ruling
EUObserver, 19.12.16: Ireland vows to fight EU's Apple tax order
Ireland: Department of Finance: Explanation of the main lines of argument in Ireland’s annulment application lodged with the General Court of the European Union on 9 November 2016
Politico, 19.12.16: Vestager, Apple up ante in historic tax dispute
Deutsche Welle, 19.12.16: Ireland to appeal EU's record $14B tax order on Apple
Apple, 30.08.16: A Message to the Apple Community in Europe
BBC News, 19.12.16: Apple fights back with appeal against EU Irish tax ruling
European Commission: Commisson decision of 30.08.16 on State Aid SA.38373 ... implemented by Ireland to Apple...
US: Department of the Treasury: Press Release, 19.12.16: Treasury Spokesperson Statement on European Commission Apple Decision

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