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Photo illustration: Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Apple won a major court case against the European Union Wednesday, shielding the tech giant from having to pay €13 billion ($14.8 billion) in back taxes to Ireland.

Why it matters: This is a major blow to European competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager, who wants U.S.-based companies to pay what she sees as their fair share of taxes in Europe. Vestager has also tried to reel in American tech companies in matters of competition and privacy.

What they're saying: The EU's General Court said the European Commission "did not succeed in showing the requisite legal standard" to prove that the Irish government gave Apple an unfair tax advantage.

  • The European Commission said it would "study the judgment and reflect on possible next steps," according to CNBC.

Context: The European Commission in 2016 said Ireland allowed Apple to pay "substantially less tax than other businesses over many years."

  • Ireland, with its low corporate tax rates, is home to the European headquarters of many major multinational corporations.

What's next: Parties in the case have two months and 10 days to decide if they want to appeal the decision to the European Court of Justice, the EU's highest court.

Go deeper

2020's never-ending tax season

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Today — October 15 — marks a tax-filing deadline for many people every year who have been granted extensions, but this year's rules and dynamics are very different.

Why it matters: The IRS was closed for months as a result of COVID-19, which meant that a lot of refunds got delayed, a lot of tax payments didn't get processed, and a lot of taxpayers (and accountants) got put on perma-hold or disconnected when they called to ask questions.

Oct 13, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump asks Supreme Court to block subpoena for tax returns

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

President Trump's attorneys filed an emergency request on Tuesday asking the Supreme Court to block a lower court's ruling that would allow the Manhattan district attorney to enforce a subpoena for his personal and corporate tax returns.

The state of play: This could be the second time that the long-running legal battle over Trump's finances ends up before the Supreme Court. In July, the court ruled that presidents are not immune from investigation but sent the case back down to lower courts, where Trump's lawyers could try again to fight the subpoena.

Biden will reverse Trump's attempt to lift COVID-related travel restrictions

Photo: Tasos Katopodis via Getty

The incoming Biden administration will reverse President Trump's last-minute order to lift COVID-19 related travel restrictions, Jen Psaki, the incoming White House press secretary, tweeted.

Why it matters: President Trump ordered entry bans lifted for travelers from the U.K., Ireland, Brazil and much of Europe to go into effect Jan. 26, but the Biden administration will "strengthen public health measures around international travel in order to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19," Jen Psaki said. Biden will be inaugurated on Wednesday, Jan. 20 and Trump will no longer be president by the time the order is set to go into effect.