Ireland to reluctantly collect tax windfall from Apple

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

Both Apple and the Irish government have appealed the ruling, but the position in the meantime is that the amount must be collected. The payments are expected to be made in the first quarter of 2018, according to Irish finance minister Paschal Donohoe.

The announcement comes after some tension with Brussels, which referred Ireland to the European Court of Justice in October of this year for failing to collect the back taxes.

In August in 2016, the European Commission (EC) ordered Apple to pay as much as $14.5 billion in taxes and interest after ruling that a deal with the Irish government illegally granted undue tax benefits to the iPhone vendor.

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. 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 global corporations.

Ireland reportedly will begin collecting more than $15 billion in back taxes from Apple in a move that could mark the end of a long-running dispute with the European Union.

The European Commission ordered Apple to pay the sum previous year.

However, last year, the Commission came to the ruling that this is an example of illegal state aid and threatened Apple with harsh consequences if it didn't cough up $13 billion in owed taxes. Whether or not the original ruling gets overturned remains to be seen.

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