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

Apple strikes interim deal on escrow fund for $15B Irish tax claim

Apple will start paying back some €13 billion in back taxes to Ireland in 2018.

While both have appealed the decision, the money Apple owes will be put in escrow while everything is being hashed out - but it will start being paid.

According to a top Irish official, Apple has agreed to to pay Ireland around $15.4 billion in back taxes.

The European Commission (which made the original ruling) expects the money to be transferred to an escrow account during the first quarter of the new year.

This is a temporary account as it operates until the completion of a transaction process, which is implemented after all the conditions between the buyer and the seller are settled.

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The government said in a statement late on Monday (4 December) that an agreement had been reached "in relation to the framework of the principles that will govern the escrow arrangements".

In August 2016, Vestager said the tax deal struck between Apple and Ireland for the period 2003 to 2014 was illegal state aid. While one might wonder why the Irish government might turn up its nose at $20 billion, by offering annual tax rates as low as 0.005 per cent for over a decade, Ireland essentially acted as a tax haven - a status it has used to attract investment and presence by worldwide corporations.

Back in 2016, the European Union ordered Dublin to retrieve billions of euros in back taxes.

After a year passed without Ireland moving to recover the money, the EU referred the country to the bloc's highest court, the European Court of Justice.

In a statement, Apple said that it remains confident the court will overturn the commission's decision once it has reviewed the evidence.

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