(Brussels) An “in-depth” investigation about state aids started in June 2014 led the European Commission to conclude that “two tax rulings issued by Ireland to Apple considerably and unnaturally decreased the tax that the company had paid in such country since 1991”. Controversies are still rife about the decision issued in Brussels today, asking the US giant to return 13 billion euros of tax it did not pay until 2014. Tough responses are coming from Apple’s Cupertino HQ and Dublin’s government. Specifically, “those rulings approved methods for measuring the taxable income of two companies incorporated in Ireland that belonged to the Apple group (Apple Sales International and Apple Operations Europe), which did not match the actual financial facts: most of the income on the sales recorded by the two companies was charged to a ‘central branch’”. But the EU Commission’s investigation “found that such central branches only existed on paper and could not have produced such income”. Under specific provisions of Irish tax law that are no longer applicable, the income produced by such central branches “were not taxable in any country”. Ireland – as announced by EU Commissioner Margrethe Vestager – must now recover the tax that Apple has not paid from 2003 to 2014, which adds up to about 13 billion euros plus interest.