It’s perhaps one of the most controversial decisions taken by the European Commission this year. The E.U. executive is demanding that U.S. tech giant Apple pay €13 billion ($13.5 billion) in back taxes after ruling that long-time subsidies offered by Ireland amounted to illegal state aid.
Both Ireland and Apple are appealing the surprise decision from August, arguing that Brussels overstepped its authority. Now, Germany’s top tax judge has also come to their defense.
“The Apple decision reveals a dilemma. After all, it was Ireland that violated rules governing state aid, not Apple. And yet Apple is expected to take the fall,” Rudolf Mellinghoff, president of Germany’s Federal Fiscal Court, the highest German court for tax matters, told Handelsblatt in an interview.