General Counsel Bruce Sewell and Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri disclosed that the company will lodge an appeal against EU's ruling at Europe's second highest court.
Margrethe Vestager, European commissioner in charge of competition policy, said at a press conference on 30 August: "Member States can not give tax benefits to selected companies - this is illegal under EU state aid rules".
The European Commission will today publish the full report into its decision in August that Apple avoided €13 billion in tax thanks to illegal state aid from the Irish Government. Ireland has always been a tax haven for big corporations thanks to comparably low corporate tax rates; the country until recently also didn't require companies to pay taxes on income generated outside of its borders.
The Government is set to vigorously contest a decision made earlier this year, which stated that Apple owes Ireland €13bn. The tech giant, who has its European Headquarters located in Cork, has allegedly paid much less than the 12.5% corporate tax rate that is standard for Ireland over the course of 11 years (2003-2014).
It should be noted that Ireland has friendly tax policies. "The European Commission has launched an effort to rewrite Apple's history in Europe, ignore Ireland's tax laws and upend the global tax system in the process", reads an excerpt from the letter. Including a summary of the legal arguments it will present in its appeal, the government said Europe "misunderstood the relevant facts and Irish law".
The standoff between Dublin, Apple, and the European Commission takes place against the backdrop of the election of President-elect Donald Trump.
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- Dublin is seeking to protect a tax regime created to attract multinational companies and argues that the commission misapplied state aid rules in the case.
The appeal, which disputes the allocation of almost all of Apple's overseas profits to Ireland, comes on the same day that the European Union released its decision in full.
"The Irish put in an expert opinion from an incredibly well-respected Irish tax lawyer". Its arrangements may have been permissible under the letter of the law, as Apple has argued.
Apple Sales International, which accounts for most of the unpaid taxes, holds the intellectual property rights to sell and manufacture Apple's products outside of America.
"Ireland does not do deals with taxpayers", the Irish finance ministry said in its latest statement. "To do anything [other than appeal the Brussels decision] would be like eating the seed potatoes and destroying the future for people for short-term advantage now", he said.