A lawyer for Apple has rejected claims by the European Commission that its alleged sweetheart tax deal with Ireland was partly designed to give the iPhone maker a boost in exchange for creating jobs in Cork.

The commission concluded in August 2016 that Apple received an unfair advantage in Ireland as a result of two “rulings” by Revenue – in 1991 and 2007 – on how the US technology giant carried out its tax affairs in the State. The commission ordered the Government to collect €13 billion of back taxes, plus interest, as a result.

The 1991 ruling that minimised Apple’s tax liabilities “appears to have been arrived at through negotiation and to have been dependent on employment considerations”, according to the commission.

However, Daniel Beard, a lawyer for Apple, told the EU’s second-highest court, the General Court in Luxembourg, on Tuesday that the commission’s assertion that jobs played a key role was based on media commentary, rather than fact.

“After the 1991 ruling, employment in Apple actually fell in Ireland,” said Mr Beard. His submission came as the court began to hear oral evidence as part of an appeal by the Government and Apple against the commission’s decision. The hearings are set to close on Wednesday evening.

Apple established a base in Cork in 1980 and employs about 6,000 people there now.


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