Ireland to reluctantly collect tax windfall from Apple

Apple agrees to cough up $15m in Irish back taxes

The European Commission ruled a year ago that a tax deal that Ireland gave Apple was illegal, and that it owed the country $14.5 billion in back taxes.

The Government has finalised an agreement with Apple over the management of an escrow account into which its contested €13 billion tax bill will be paid.

The European Commission had ordered Dublin to collect the money in 2016 after concluding that two Irish tax rulings allowed Apple to pay less tax than other businesses.

The EU's ruling also angered a number government leaders in Ireland, who filed their own appeal on the grounds that the ruling infringes on the nation's sovereignty and harms its ability to attract business.

Ireland is looking to get the decision annulled and has filed an application in the General Court of the European Union. It is important that we send a strong message that Ireland remains an attractive and stable location of choice for long-term substantive investment.

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. 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.

Apple is just one of many technology companies whose tax arrangements in Europe have been criticized.

Both Apple and Ireland dragged their feet on the repayment as they appealed the decision in court. We strongly support efforts from the global community toward comprehensive worldwide tax reform and a far simpler system, and we will continue to advocate for that. The ruling obliges Apple to pay back €13bn.

Related news: