European Commission publishes details of Apple tax ruling

Outlines its "doubts about the compatibility of such State aid with the internal market"...

The European Commission has revealed its rationale behind the ruling that Ireland deliberately gave favourable tax treatment to Apple.

The commission announced in August that the tech giant owed Ireland €13 billion in back taxes. Today, it has published its full judgement that Apple enjoyed State aid in the country. 

The paper states:

"At this stage, the Commission considers that the measure at issue appears to constitute a reduction of charges that should normally be borne by the entities concerned in the course of their business, and should therefore be considered as operating aid.

"According to the Commission practice, such aid cannot be considered compatible with the internal market in that it does not facilitate the development of certain activities or of certain economic areas, nor are the incentives in question limited in time, digressive or proportionate to what is necessary to remedy to a specific economic handicap of the areas concerned."

It noted that Apple Sales International paid less than €50m in tax on profits of €16bn in 2011, an effective rate of 0.05%.

It comes as the Department of Finance launched a pre-emptive defence, accusing the commission of misinterpreting Irish tax laws.

The legal arguments include claims that the EU has wrongly rejected expert evidence submitted by Ireland.

It also says that the EU body has exceeded its powers.

In a statement, the department said:

"The European Commission has signalled its intention to publish the final decision in the Apple State aid case. This was sent to Ireland at the end of August.

"Ireland does not accept the Commission's analysis, which is why we have lodged an application with the General Court of the European Union to annul the whole decision.

"Ireland did not give favourable tax treatment to Apple - the full amount of tax was paid in this case and no State aid was provided.

"Ireland does not do deals with taxpayers."