Commission refers Ireland to Court for failure to recover tax benefits from Apple worth up to €13 billion

Oct 09, 2017

The European Commission has decided to refer Ireland to the European Court of Justice for failing to recover illegal State aid worth up to €13 billion from Apple. Read above for Chartered Accountant Ireland’s statement on this matter.

According to the Commission’s decision in August 2016, Ireland's tax benefits to Apple were illegal under EU State aid rules.  Ireland has appealed the Commission's decision to the Court of Justice. However the appeal against the decision does not suspend Ireland's obligation to recover illegal aid (Article 278 TFEU) and according to the Commission, the recovered amount should have been placed in an escrow account in January this year according to the Commission, pending the outcome of the EU court procedures.

The Commission also noted that while Ireland made progress on the calculation of the exact amount of the illegal aid granted to Apple, it is only planning to conclude this work by March 2018 at the earliest.

The Commission has therefore referred Ireland to the Court of Justice for failure to implement the Commission decision, citing Article 108(2) TFEU.  If the Court of Justice finds against Ireland, the Commission may ask the Court to impose penalty payments.

The Department of Finance says Irish officials and experts have engaged in intensive work to ensure that the Ireland complies with all its recovery obligations as soon as possible, and have been in constant contact with the European Commission and Apple on all aspects of this process for over a year.