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EU refers Republic to European Court of Justice over Apple's €13 billion tax bill

The government in Dublin said it is actively trying to recover money from Apple
Ben Woods, Press Association

The Republic has been referred to the European Court of Justice for failing to recover €13 billion (£11.5 billion) in illegal state aid from tech giant Apple, the EU's competition watchdog said.

Margrethe Vestager, the EU's competition commissioner, said: "Ireland has to recover up to €13 billion in illegal state aid from Apple.

"However, more than one year after the commission adopted this decision, Ireland has still not recovered the money, also not in part.

"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.

"That is why we have today decided to refer Ireland to the EU Court for failing to implement our decision."

The Dublin government reacted angrily to the decision, saying it was disappointed with the European Commission's action.

It described it as "wholly unnecessary" and said it has never accepted the Commission's analysis of Apple's tax arrangements.

"We have always been clear that the government is fully committed to ensuring that recovery of the alleged Apple state aid takes place without delay and has committed significant resources to ensuring this is achieved," the Department of Finance in Dublin said.

In response to the announcement, Apple re-issued a statement from July, saying: "The European Commission's case against Ireland has never been about how much Apple pays in taxes, it's about which government gets the money.

"The United States government, the Irish government and Apple all agree we've paid our taxes according to the law.

"Since virtually all of our research and development takes place in the United States, according to the law, we pay the majority of our taxes in the US.

"The Commission's ruling is contrary to the tax principles countries around the world have adhered to for decades."

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