Opinion Statement ECJ-TF 3/2020 on the General Court judgments of 15 July 2020 in the Cases T-778/16 and T-892/16, Ireland v. Commission and Apple v. Commission, on State aid granted by tax rulings fixing the attribution of profits to permanent establishments in Ireland

European Taxation, 2021 (Volume 61), No. 2/3

14 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2021

See all articles by João Félix Pinto Nogueira

João Félix Pinto Nogueira

International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation; University of Cape Town (UCT)

Francisco Alfredo Garcia Prats

Universitat de València

Werner C. Haslehner

Universite du Luxembourg

Volker Heydt

Independent

Eric Kemmeren

Tilburg University; Fiscal Institute Tilburg

Georg Kofler

Vienna University of Economics and Business - Institute for Austrian and International Tax Law

Michael Lang

Vienna University of Economics and Business

Christiana HJI Panayi

Queen Mary University of London, School of Law

Emmanuel Raingeard de la Blétière

Independent

Stella Raventos-Calvo

Asociación Española de Asesores Fiscales (AEDAF)

Isabelle Richelle

Independent

Alexander Rust

Independent

Rupert Shiers

Independent

Date Written: September 15, 2020

Abstract

The General Court decisions in Ireland v. Commission and Apple v. Commission (Joined Cases T-778/16 and T-892/16),[1] given on 15 July 2020, follow the Court’s earlier decisions in the Starbucks (Joined Cases C-760/15 and T-636/16)[2] and Fiat (Joined Cases T-755/15 and T-759/15)[3] cases concerning the legality of EU Commission decisions considering certain transfer pricing rulings granted by Member States to multinational enterprises to be prohibited State aid.
The General Court reached a balanced verdict: while agreeing with the Commission on the fundamental point regarding the applicability of the arm’s length principle to Member State tax rulings, it concluded that the Commission had failed to apply that principle in a manner that proved a selective advantage had been granted by the Irish revenue authorities. The Commission has lodged an appeal against the General Court’s decision before the Court of Justice of the European Union (Case C-465/20 P).
This statement focusses on questions of law addressed by the General Court rather than going into detail on the factual/transfer pricing (TP) issues. It focusses, in particular, on the extent to which the Apple case provides clarifications or reveals changes in approach relative to the General Court’s earlier decisions in Starbucks and Fiat.

Keywords: Taxation, Tax law, European taxation

JEL Classification: K33, K34, F13, E62, D78, E62, F02, F23, F42, H20, H22, H23, H25, H26, H87, O19, O23, O24

Suggested Citation

Pinto Nogueira, João Félix and Garcia Prats, Francisco Alfredo and Haslehner, Werner Christof and Heydt, Volker and Kemmeren, Eric and Kofler, Georg and Lang, Michael and HJI Panayi, Christiana and Raingeard de la Blétière, Emmanuel and Raventos-Calvo, Stella and Richelle, Isabelle and Rust, Alexander and Shiers, Rupert, Opinion Statement ECJ-TF 3/2020 on the General Court judgments of 15 July 2020 in the Cases T-778/16 and T-892/16, Ireland v. Commission and Apple v. Commission, on State aid granted by tax rulings fixing the attribution of profits to permanent establishments in Ireland (September 15, 2020). European Taxation, 2021 (Volume 61), No. 2/3, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3924262

João Félix Pinto Nogueira (Contact Author)

International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation ( email )

Rietlandpark, 301
Amsterdam, 1019 DW
Netherlands
+31205540100 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.ibfd.org/IBFD-Profiles/Jo-o-F-lix-Pinto-Nogueira

University of Cape Town (UCT) ( email )

Private Bag X3
Rondebosch, Western Cape 7701
South Africa

Werner Christof Haslehner

Universite du Luxembourg ( email )

Luxembourg

Volker Heydt

Independent

Eric Kemmeren

Tilburg University ( email )

Warandelaan 2
Tilburg, Noord-Brabant 5037AB
Netherlands
+31.13.466.8129/2412 (Phone)
+31.13.466.3073 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.tilburguniversity.edu/webwijs/show/kemmeren-3.htm

Fiscal Institute Tilburg ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands
+31.13.466.8129/2412 (Phone)
+31.13.466.3073 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.tilburguniversity.edu/webwijs/show/kemmeren-3.htm

Georg Kofler

Vienna University of Economics and Business - Institute for Austrian and International Tax Law ( email )

Welthandelsplatz 1
Buildind D3
Vienna, VIenna 1020
Austria

Michael Lang

Vienna University of Economics and Business ( email )

Welthandelsplatz 1
Vienna, 1020
Austria

Christiana HJI Panayi

Queen Mary University of London, School of Law ( email )

67-69 Lincoln’s Inn Fields
London, WC2A 3JB
United Kingdom

Stella Raventos-Calvo

Asociación Española de Asesores Fiscales (AEDAF) ( email )

Spain

Isabelle Richelle

Independent

Alexander Rust

Independent

Rupert Shiers

Independent

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