The advocate-general of the European Court of Justice has recommended that the lower court ruling in favor of Apple be re-examined.
Why it matters
The re-examination of the tax case between Apple and Ireland by the European Court of Justice is significant as it could impact the amount of taxes multinational companies pay and the incentives offered by EU members to attract investment. The outcome of the case will have implications for both Apple and Ireland, as well as other EU countries and multinational corporations operating within the EU.
What the papers say
The Times says that the advocate-general's recommendation sets the process back to square one, while The Independent highlights that the opinion is seen as a significant setback to Ireland's defense of its tax treatment of Apple. AP News reports that the advocate-general's opinion could result in Apple being on the hook for billions of euros in back taxes to Ireland. BBC News mentions that the legal opinion is not a final verdict but is usually followed by the court.
How we got here
The tax case between Apple and Ireland began in 2014 when the European Commission opened an investigation into alleged illegal tax benefits granted by Ireland to Apple. In 2020, the EU's General Court overturned a ruling that found Apple had received illegal tax breaks. The European Commission appealed the decision, leading to the current re-examination by the European Court of Justice.
More on these topics
Apple Inc. is an American multinational technology company headquartered in Cupertino, California, that designs, develops, and sells consumer electronics, computer software, and online services.
The European Union is a political and economic union of 27 member states that are located primarily in Europe. Its members have a combined area of 4,233,255.3 km² and an estimated total population of about 447 million.
Ireland is an island in the North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel, the Irish Sea, and St George's Channel.
The Court of Justice of the European Union is the judicial branch of the European Union. Seated in the Kirchberg quarter of Luxembourg City, Luxembourg, this EU institution consists of two separate courts: the Court of Justice and the General Court.
The European Commission is the executive branch of the European Union, responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the EU treaties and managing the day-to-day business of the EU.
The General Court, informally known as the European General Court, is a constituent court of the Court of Justice of the European Union.