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20 cases in 2020

1. Apple on state aid

In Ireland v European Commission (Apple Sales International) (Cases T-778/16 and T-892/16) the General Court of the European Union annulled the decision of the European Commission that Ireland had granted Apple €13bn in unlawful tax advantages. This case shows that while it is possible for the Commission to target tax rulings under state aid rules the Commission needs to prove its case.

According to George Peretz QC and Tarlochan Lall of Monckton Chambers (Tax Journal 31 July) the decision ‘shows the difficulties the European Commission faces in proving selective tax advantages that may constitute unlawful state aid’. As was established in Portugal v Commission ‘the very existence of an advantage may be established only when compared with “normal” taxation.’ In Apple the crux of the dispute concerned the application of Irish rules on the profits properly attributable to...

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