Apple agrees to pay Ireland over $15 billion in back taxes

The European Commission ruled in 2016 that Apple must reimburse the Irish state €13 billion in back taxes

While the appeals are still ongoing, the European Commission ordered Ireland to begin collecting Apple's taxes on January 3, and the organization referred Ireland to the EU Court in October for failing to comply with the deadline.

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As a result of both parties contesting the ruling, the matter is now awaiting a European Court of Justice decision, and the money will be paid into the escrow account in the interim. The unfair advantage resulted in Apple avoiding as much as 13 billion euros in payments over the course of more than a decade.

Pending the European Court of Justice decision, Ireland was told to hold the disputed tax in an independently managed escrow account.

The ruling stated that tax benefits received by the tech company were illegal under European Union rules, because they allowed Apple to pay substantially less tax than other businesses. Since then though, it seems that Apple has reached an agreement with Ireland to pay back €13 billion in back taxes.

The European Commission estimated the amount of illegal state aid to be recovered by the Irish authorities to be around EUR13bn, plus interest. Despite Apple not wanting to pay the bill - and the Irish Government not wanting to receive it - the two sides have now come to an agreement that means the money owed will now be collected. Whether or not the original ruling gets overturned remains to be seen.

The Irish Finance Ministry said: "These sums will be placed into an escrow fund with the proceeds being released only when there has been a final determination in the European Courts over the validity of the Commission's Decision".

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