A legal consultant to the European Court of Justice has urged that a verdict that allows Apple to avoid paying €13 billion (about £11 billion) in unpaid taxes should be overturned.
This action is the most recent development in the ongoing drama involving the European Union (EU), an American IT company, and the Irish government.
A decision that had been made that determined Apple had received improper tax incentives from the Irish government was reversed about three years ago. However, Advocate General Giovanni Pitruzzella of the Court of Justice stated that the case ought to be looked at once again.
He contended that a number of legal mistakes had been made, and that the decision that had been taken in favour of Apple had failed "to assess accurately the substance and repercussions of numerous methodological flaws that, according to the Commission decision, vitiated the tax rulings."
Even if the legal opinion does not constitute a final verdict and is not legally enforceable, the court has a propensity to concur with such opinions in the majority of cases.
In reaction to the most recent turn of events,According to a representative for Apple, the initial ruling, which protected the business from having to pay back taxes, made it fairly evident that Apple received no preferential advantage and no governmental aid.
This was said by the official after the initial verdict was handed down. They went on to state that they believed it was important to uphold that, and they concluded.
The European Commission came to the conclusion in 2016 that Apple had gotten unfairly privileged treatment from the Irish government, which enabled it to pay a substantially lower rate of tax compared to other corporations. The Commission deemed this to be an instance of illicit state aid being provided to Apple by the Irish government.
The scandal turned into a symbol of the Commission's efforts to crack down on what it perceived to be enormous tax dodging by multinational corporations and the issue became that icon.
The Irish government has claimed that Apple should not be required to repay the past taxes because they believe that the loss that Apple incurred was worth it in order to make Ireland a desirable location for large firms to locate their headquarters.
Apple's operations in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa are headquartered in Ireland, which has one of the EU's most favourable tax rates for businesses.
The EU does have considerable powers to oversee state aid, and in this case, it argued that by applying very low tax rates to Apple, Ireland was giving it an unfair subsidy. However, corporate tax rates for corporations are established at the national level, and thus are not subject to the EU's authority.
The lower court, known as the General Court, issued a verdict exactly two years ago that the decision made by the European Commission that Apple should pay back taxes was legally faulty and should be set aside. However, with the most recent turn of events, the ruling itself may now be reversed.