"The Commission has misunderstood the relevant facts and Irish law… The Decision also mischaracterises the activities and responsibilities of the Irish branches of ASI [Apple Sales International] and AOE [Apple Operations International]," the Irish Department of Finance said in its explanation of the grounds for appeal against the Commission's decision.
According to the document, the European Commission was wrong in believing that Apple had received a special treatment and in ignoring the distinction the Irish legislation makes between the taxation of resident and non-resident companies.
The Irish Department of Finance said that Ireland was only entitled to the taxes from the Irish Apple branches ASI and AOE, whose activities were routine and did not include any important decision-making, and the profits "deriving from these [US-made] decisions were not properly attributable to the Irish branches."
The document also stated that the Commission did not explain its opinion on state aid to the corporation properly during the investigation and did not disclose all of the findings, thus robbing Ireland of the opportunity to defend itself against the accusations.
The Irish Department of Finance added that the Commission overstepped its boundaries by interfering with Ireland's tax sovereignty and failed to provide "a clear and unequivocal statement of reasons" in its conclusion.
On August 30, the European Commission found that Ireland had provided the US-based company with up to $14.5 billion in illegal tax benefits and ordered Apple to pay the sum back to the Irish authorities. On the same day, Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan said that he "profoundly" disagreed with the decision and would seek to appeal it before European courts.