Jessica Fino 4 Oct 2017 02:09pm

Ireland taken to court over Apple taxes

The European Commission (EC) has taken Ireland to court after failing to collect the €13bn tax bill from Apple it was ordered to last year

Commissioner Margrethe Vestager announced today that the EC was taking Ireland to the Court of Justice for failure to implement its decision.

The EC concluded in August last year that Ireland granted undue tax benefits of up to £11.1bn to Apple between 2003 and 2014.

The giant was ordered to pay back the amount by 3 January 2017.

“Member states need to make sufficient progress to restore competition,” the Vestager said.

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

She added that until the aid was recovered, Apple would continue to benefit from the “illegal advantage”.

The Irish government criticised the decision, claiming it was an “unnecessary step”.

It said in a statement, “it is extremely disappointing that the commission has taken action at this time against Ireland.

“Irish officials and experts have been engaged in intensive work to ensure that the state complies with all its recovery obligations as soon as possible, and have been in constant contact with the European Commission and Apple on all aspects of this process for over a year.”

It added the EC’s decision was “extremely regrettable, especially in relation to a case with such a large scale recovery amount”.

The government has previously criticised the EC ruling, accusing it of exceeding its powers and interfering with its sovereignty.

Apple has been contacted for comment.

The news came on the same day of the conclusion of the Amazon investigation, which ruled the US retailer must pay back €250m in taxes to Luxembourg.