Apple sticks with the EU of $14 billion in the Irish tax-dispute-drags

LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) – Apple is accused of the Commission of a misunderstanding of its business, on day two of the iPhone maker’s appeal against a $14 billion burden to provide, in a dispute that has been the key to the EU’s drive to collect more taxes, but it could also be for a number of years.

FILE PHOTO: CEO Tim Cook speaks at an Apple event at its headquarters in Cupertino, California September 10, 2019. REUTERS/Stephen Lam/File Photo

The case focuses on tax rulings granted by Ireland to the two of Apple-to-business companies in the country, Apple tv, and Apple Operations Europe, which is less than the company’s tax charge for more than two decades – to as low as 0.005% in 2014.

The European Commission has set the company in the US by 2016, to the payment of 13 billion euros ($14.4 billion) of the income tax, which it said were owed on the island of Ireland. However, Apple and the republic of Ireland, where the economy is benefiting from the hosting of a number of multinational companies are appealing against the decision, Europe’s general Court, the second-highest level.

Central to the dispute is in the best interest of Irish companies, Apple’s lawyer, Daniel Beard, fought on Wednesday, they were not nearly as important as the Commission has claimed to be.

“Yes, yes, Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, said that the decisions taken in the republic of Ireland, but it does not take strategic decisions,” he said, referring to Cook’s testimony at a hearing of the U.S. Senate in 2013, which was an important element of the business of the Commission.

Commission’s lawyer, Paul-John Loewenthal, rejected the criticism that the EU’s executive that Apple’s offer for a visit to its operations in Cork, Ireland, said that it was not necessary.

“And what would a visit to the site to get here?” he asked.

Ireland ended up with the tax rules as Apple’s Irish units, changing their structures at the end of 2015.

The stakes are high for the European Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager, who has spearheaded the European Union’s drive against tax avoidance by multinational companies, published a similar tax, and the recovery of orders from Amazon, and Starbucks, among others, as well as other companies, in the face.

Vestager, who will remain in her post for five years, but with the new power to make rules to establish, you will get a sense of how the Court views its heavy-handed action on Sept. 24, when the rules and regulations on its tax returns the orders to the Starbucks, and Fiat Chrysler automobiles NV.

The court will make a decision in the Apple case, in the next few months, however, the losing party is likely to appeal to the european Court of Justice and a final ruling could take several years.

The common Apple, the cases are of T-778/16 Ireland v Commission and T-892/16, Apple Sales International and of Apple Operations Europe / european Commission.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Mark Potter

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