Apple challenges EU tax ruling

Updated 2016-12-20 14:07:29 Xinhua

U.S. tech firm Apple launched on Monday a legal challenge against the European Union (EU)'s decision that it should pay billions of unpaid taxes to Ireland.

The EU accused Ireland of giving the U.S. multinational illegal state aid with tax arrangements in the country, and ruled in August that it should pay back 13 billion euros (13.6 billion U.S. dollars) in unpaid taxes.

The Irish government contested such a decision, arguing the EU is interfering with its sovereign rights.

According to the EU, Irish tax codes have allowed the phone maker to enjoy almost zero tax on its huge sales worldwide for more than a decade. Margaret Stager, EU commissioner in charge of competition policy, said it was in breach of the EU state aid rules.

Apple, whose European headquarters are located in Ireland, defended itself in a statement on Monday, saying that it was the largest taxpayer in the world, in the United States and in Ireland.

"It's been clear since the start of the case there was a pre-determined outcome," said the statement.

The U.S. firm lodged its legal challenge at an EU court in Luxembourg.

The European Commission, the executive arm of the EU, said in a short statement that it will defend its decision in the court.

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