Economy

Apple Begrudgingly Agrees To Pay Ireland $20 Billion In Back Taxes

Apple Begrudgingly Agrees To Pay Ireland $20 Billion In Back Taxes

On Monday, the Irish government said that an agreement had been reached "in relation to the framework of the principles that will govern the escrow arrangements," so that the country can begin collecting about $15 billion in unpaid taxes from Apple as early as next year.

Apple has agreed to pay Ireland up to €13bn (£11.5bn) in back taxes after the European Commission said it received unfair tax incentives.

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Both Apple and the Irish government have appealed the ruling, but the position in the meantime is that the amount must be collected. 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 worldwide corporations.

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe told reporters before a meeting with European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager on Monday that Ireland and Apple had reached an agreement to "the principles and operation of the escrow fund" into which the USA iPhone maker was expected to pay the money.

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The BBC reports that Apple is paying the money into a so-called blocked "escrow" account and that Ireland is in the process of appealing the Commission's decision.

In September 2016, a European Commission investigation concluded that two rulings provided by the Irish Government had "substantially and artificially lowered the tax paid by Apple in Ireland since 1991". Whether or not the original ruling gets overturned remains to be seen.

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Apple also said it remained "confident" that the European Union court would "overturn the Commission's decision once it has reviewed all the evidence".