One year later, Apple agrees to pay Ireland $15B in back taxes

Lucy Hill
December 6, 2017

While the appeals are still ongoing, the European Commission ordered Ireland to begin collecting Apple's taxes on January 3, and the organization referred Ireland to the EU Court in October for failing to comply with the deadline.

In fact, the European Commission had ordered the government of Ireland to collect the "back taxes" only after concluding that two Irish tax coding permitted by Apple, that is to pay less tax than other businesses.

Apple agreed to place the money into escrow, but as $15B escrow funds aren't exactly available as off-the-shelf financial products, and the iPhone maker believes it will get its money back when a court finally rules, it wanted to negotiate the terms of the escrow fund - presumably to ensure that it is earning a decent return. Dublin indicated the the collection was stalled due to negotiations over the escrow account, set to hold the dues while the decision is appealed in court.

We have a dedicated team working diligently and expeditiously with Ireland on the process the European Commission has mandated. According to the EU, the tax deal allowed Apple to pay nearly nothing in tax on its European profits between 2003 and 2014.

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

Ireland's minister of finance, Mr. Paschal L. Donohoe, told reporters on Monday that he expected payments in the first quarter of 2018.

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

Corporate tax evasion seriously undermines civil society and has become an increasing focus of the European Union, so it is good to see Apple finally paying up, even if they still plan to claw it back later.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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