Apple Inc. told a European Union court it was unfairly painted as a tax dodger as it sought to topple a massive EU back-tax bill that's the hallmark of antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager's five-year crackdown on USA tech giants.
Ireland, whose economy has benefited from investment by multinational companies attracted by low tax rates, is also challenging the Commission's decision.
On Tuesday, a gaggle of Apple legal professionals argued in Luxembourg at a European Union courtroom in a bid to reverse a European Fee (EC) ruling from three years in the past about billions of in again taxes Apple allegedly owed Eire, which Apple now refuses to pay and Eire doesn't need.
"The iPhone manufacturer also accused the executive European Commission of using its powers to fight state help" to retrofit adjustments to federal law", in effect seeking to modify the global taxation system and in the process producing legal uncertainty for companies.
But commission lawyer Richard Lyal told the court "To a large extent that is perfectly correct and perfectly irrelevant".
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The commission made a landmark order that the technology giant reimburse Ireland 13 billion euros ($14 billion) in back taxes in 2016. However, both Apple and the Irish state had pledged to overturn the ruling. Its initial 1991 tax deal with Apple involved "no real assessment" of how Apple should be taxed, when Irish officials 'simply accepted an arbitrary method proposed by Apple Ireland subsidiaries'.
"This case has never been about how much tax Apple pays, it's about where that tax is paid", the company statement said.
The U.S. Government has been keenly looking into the matter, saying the tech giant should be subject to USA tax laws.
Lawyers for the Commission will also make their case on Tuesday. Some EU authorities believe that harmonization would reduce bureaucracy and combat tax avoidance.
He said the Commission has no hidden agenda.
"All the rest was allocated to the "head office", where they remained untaxed", she said.
Apple is a massive local employer, it has been present in Ireland since the 1980s, and employs around 6,000 people in Cork, the country's second-largest city.