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European Commission withdraws ECJ case against Ireland after €13.1 billion Apple tax is recovered

Ireland completed the recovery of the aid on 6 September.

File photo
File photo
Image: Yui Mok/PA Images

THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION has withdrawn a European Court of Justice action against Ireland over the State’s failure to recover €13.1 billion in tax from Apple.

The Commission announced this morning that it was dropping the action after Ireland confirmed that the money had been paid.

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe confirmed last month that the tech giant had deposited the money into an escrow account set up by the Government.

A total of €14.3 billion was deposited into the account, made up of the €13.1 billion tax bill plus interest of €1.2 billion.

The Commission found in August 2016 that Ireland had granted “undue tax benefits” to Apple, which amounted to illegal state aid as it allowed Apple to pay substantially less tax on profits recorded in Ireland than other companies.

The government and Apple are appealing that decision, arguing that the company’s taxation was conducted legally.

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“Taking into account that the payment into the escrow fund of the illegal aid removed the distortion of competition caused by that aid, the Commission has today decided to withdraw the court action,” the statement from the European Commission said.

Ireland completed the recovery of the aid on 6 September, and will keep the money in the escrow account until final judgement on an appeal against the Commission’s decision are made.

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