This is a real snub to the european Commission : the european judges have cancelled Wednesday 15 July 2020 of the institution's decision, which had ordered Apple to the summer of 2016 to refund Ireland € 13 billion of tax benefits deemed improper by Brussels. The Commission, wipes, and a huge setback, has not been able to demonstrate " the existence of an economic advantage-selective ", according to the european court. Apple immediately applauded this decision.
This judgment awaited intervenes on the eve of another decision in a file, while also sensitive, this time concerning Facebook and the transfers of personal data from Europe to the rest of the world. In the case of Apple, the case dates back to August 30, 2016 : Margrethe Vestager had then decided to strike a blow against the multinational. According to the Commission's investigation, Apple was repatriated in Ireland between 2003 and 2014 the total revenue earned in Europe (as well as in Africa, the Middle East and India), as the company benefited from a favourable tax treatment through an agreement with the authorities of Dublin. The Commission noted that the group had escaped to the quasi-totality of the tax which he would have had to pay on that period, or about 13 billion euros, according to his calculations.
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Reverse for the "tax lady"
For the Danish Margrethe Vestager, black beast of Gafa and known as the "tax lady" by the american president Donald Trump – precisely because of the case of Apple, this decision is a big setback for his policies against a series of multinational companies who have benefited from a tax treatment that is judged to be too favourable. In two similar cases, the european judges had given in September 2019 a first overview of their analysis. They had refuted the arguments of the european Commission in relation to the american chain Starbucks, ordered to pay up to 30 million euros of tax arrears, the netherlands. On the other hand, in the case of Fiat, they had given them reason to Brussels, which required the Italian group for the payment in Luxembourg by a sum identical to undue tax advantages.
This case occurs in a particular context, where several european countries, including France, want to achieve a better enforcement of the giants of the digital, where they make a profit. However, in an EU of 27, where all tax issues are decided by unanimity, it is not easy to hear.
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