Ireland's reputation damaged by 2016 Apple tax ruling says Pascal Donohoe

Minister for Finance Pascal Donohue said the original court ruling damaged Ireland's reputation. Picture: Sam Boal/

Minister for Finance Pascal Donohue said Ireland's reputation was damaged by the first Apple tax ruling in 2016.

The ruling by the European Commission (EC), which ordered Ireland to collect €13bn in unpaid taxes from the tech company, was reversed today.

The EC said the low amount of tax paid by Apple in Ireland was a form of state aid that violated competition rules in the European Union's Single Market.

Speaking today on the EU General Court's decision after the appeal by Ireland and the Tech company, the Dublin TD said the ruling vindicates Ireland's position that it does not give preferential treatment to certain companies. 

Mr Donohue also said that Ireland's reputation had been damaged during the case. 

The Minister for Finance said: "And it is a matter that did affect our reputation while this issue was being pursued. 

"Which is why the ruling of today is now important in making clear that we did not treat any company in a particular way."

Ireland and Apple had appealed the ruling by arguing that the European Commission misunderstood Irish law and made errors in its state aid assessment.

Mr Donohoe said the ruling will lead many to re-assess their view of Ireland's corporate tax rate.

In its ruling the General Court said it “annuls the contested decision because the Commission did not succeed in showing to the requisite legal standard that there was an advantage” for Apple and that the Commission was wrong to declare that the particular Apple entities based in Cork and at the heart of the case “had been granted a selective economic advantage and, by extension, State aid”.

An appeal is expected to be made to the Court of Justice, the highest court of the EU, the ruling of which will be final.