European Commission takes Ireland to court over unclaimed Apple taxes

The European Commission is taking Ireland to the European Court of Justice following its failure to reclaim €13 billion of back taxes from Apple. The Commission issued the request in 2016 after it found Apple was in receipt of illegal state aid, but too little progress has been made by the Irish tax office reclaim the taxes.

European Commission takes Ireland to court over unclaimed Apple taxes

The European Commission Wednesday announced it was taking Ireland to the European Court of Justice, for its failure to retrieve €13 billion in taxes from Apple.

“The European Commission has decided to refer Ireland to the European Court of Justice for failing to recover from Apple illegal State aid worth up to €13 billion, as required by a Commission decision,” the European Commission said in a press release.

In 2016 the Commission ordered Apple to pay the €13 billion ($15 billion) in unpaid back taxes after it ruled the tech giant had been the recipient of unauthorised state aid. However, since then, little headway has been made by Ireland to reclaim the payment requested by the Commission.

“More than one year after the Commission adopted this decision, Ireland has still not recovered the money, also not in part,” said competition policy commissioner, Margrethe Vestager.

“We of course understand that recovery in certain cases may be more complex than in others, and we are always ready to assist. But Member States need to make sufficient progress to restore competition,” Vestager added.

The Irish tax office is said to be working on the details of request for unpaid taxes from Apple. However, an exact figure won’t likely be ready until sometime in 2018. The Commission’s deadline for the reclaimed payment was January 3rd, 2017.

This move by the European Commission is yet further evidence of the body’s increased crackdown in tax payments from global tech giants who are winning a lot of European business.

In June, Google was hit with a record €2.4 billion fine for market abuse. The European competition head, Vestager has also issued a request for some €250 million in back taxes from Amazon.

In addition, and highlighting the firmer stance on tax, the European Commission’s competition policy department is reported to be working on an acceptable tax deal between McDonalds and Luxembourg.

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