Ireland to reluctantly collect tax windfall from Apple

Ireland to reluctantly collect tax windfall from Apple

Ireland to reluctantly collect tax windfall from Apple

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.

Over a year ago, as Ars reported, the EU's competition chief Margrethe Vestager said that a two-year investigation into so-called sweetheart tax deals in 1991 and 2007 had found Apple guilty of receiving illegal state aid from the Emerald Isle.

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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.

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The government have come to an agreement with Apple for the contested €13 billion tax bill that the company was ordered to pay Ireland. "Until the illegal aid is recovered, [Apple] continues to benefit from an illegal advantage, which is why recovery must happen as quickly as possible", the Commission said in a statement at the time. For example, a similar deal between Amazon and Luxembourg resulted in the tech giant hiring some 1500 employees there, simultaneously reducing the tax burden on its European operations by approximately 75 per cent.

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.

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".

Apple insists it did nothing wrong and that eventually, its Irish treasure horde will be returned to Cook and crew.

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