Apple won't have to pay multi-billion-dollar Ireland tax bill

(Image credit: Shutterstock / Neirfy)

Apple won’t have to pay up to €13 billion in taxes to the Irish government after a European court overturned the demand from the EU.

A European Commission (EC) investigation four years ago concluded that Apple had been able to avoid taxation on almost all profits generated in Europe by routing revenues through Ireland.

This, it argued, meant the company paid a tax rate that fell as low as 0.0005 per cent in 2014.

Apple Ireland tax

Given that other companies in Ireland were not subjected to the same rate, the EC said this effectively amounted to state aid.

It was alleged that Apple had benefited from this arrangement for more than two decades but the EU was only able to demand that Ireland recover up to ten years’ worth. Both Apple and the Irish government appealed the decision and have emerged victorious.

In its ruling, the court said that the EC had not provided sufficient evidence that Apple had been given an advantage to the extend that it could be considered state aid. Dublin welcomed the development as vindication that it hadn’t given the company an unfair advantage, while Apple said the issue was not about how much tax it paid, but in which jurisdiction it paid it.

Ireland and Apple have a long-standing relationship, with the firm opening a facility in Holyhill, County Cork in 1980.

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.