Apple will rtedly begin paying the roughly 13 billion euros ($15.46 billion) in back taxes it owes to the Irish government as early as next year, according to the country’s finance minister, Paschal Donohoe, via a Reuters news report.
“We have now reached agreement with Apple in relation to the principles and operation of the escrow fund,” Donohoe told reporters before heading into a closed meeting with European Competition Commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, adding that “We expect the money will begin to be transmitted into the account from Apple across the first quarter of next year.”
The report cites an “escrow account” which has been established to begin receiving the payments — however details about the payments, themselves, including the amounts, timing, and management of the escrow fund remain unknown.
‘Illegal State Aid’
The European Commission concluded back in 2016 that Ireland had been giving Apple “preferential tax treatment,” resulting in the iPhone maker benefitting from an illegal arrangement with Dublin where it paid an effective tax rate of just 0.005 percent in 2014. The commission ultimately ruled that the arrangement amounted to “illegal state aid,” and Apple, as a result, would have to repay the money — though both Apple and Ireland have since fought the judgment hand and tooth.
Up until recently, Irish officials have been dragging their feet at the EU’s multiple requests to recover Apple’s back tax money, which ultimately landed Irish officials, including Donohoe, in court.
Now, Ireland is reportedly seeking an investment manager and a custodian to help manage the escrow account, according to Reuters; however both Apple and the Irish government have also indicated their intent to continue challenging the judgment.