In 2016, the European Commission ruled that Apple had to pay $15 billion to Ireland, after determining that the low tax rate given to the USA technology giant by Irish tax authorities broke the state aid rules.
The Commission said on Tuesday that it hoped the funds would be recovered fully as soon as possible to allow it to close the EU Court of Justice's action against Ireland for missing that deadline, a spokesman said.
It's starting to pay the funds into an escrow account.
Why does Apple have to pay? As a result of the delays, Apple may be faced with up to $2 billion in additional interest that will be owed after the original $16 billion is handed over to Irish authorities.
If Ireland wins its case, it will hand the €13bn back to Apple at the end of the process.
The tech giant on Tuesday was expected to sign an agreement with Ireland finance minister Paschal Donohoe to set up a tax-repayment plan worth 13 billion euros ($15.9 billion), according to the Financial Times. Donohoe said he "fundamentally disagrees with the ruling", but will collect it regardless.
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In the meantime, the money will be held by an escrow account, Donohoe said. The agreement will allow an escrow account to collect the €13 billion the European Commission says is due to Ireland in back taxes from the United States tech giant.
Apple and the Irish Government are appealing the Commission's ruling on the grounds that the tax treatment did not break Irish or European Union law.
Apple shouldn't be sweating the fine, even though it's huge.
The Irish finance ministry said today it has agreed with Apple on a legal framework to govern the collection and eventual payment of funds into an escrow account, which it called "a significant milestone" toward collecting the money.
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