Ireland makes deal to collect $20B in back taxes from Apple

06 December, 2017, 00:52 | Author: Terri Saunders
  • Apple Operations International in Hollyhill Cork in the south of Ireland /Reuters

According to a top Irish official, Apple has agreed to to pay Ireland around $15.4 billion in back taxes.

While the decision is being appealed, the money will be held in an escrow fund. Apple has said it wanted to negotiate the interest rate of the escrow fund. The figure is reportedly 40 times bigger than any previous demand under European Union rules prohibiting countries from helping companies gain advantages over their competitors.

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. It is important that we send a strong message that Ireland remains an attractive and stable location of choice for long-term substantive investment.

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Apple indicated it didn't see the arrangement as a settlement, though, and vowed to continue to fight to have the judgment overturned. 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.

The Irish government must now put the sums in a blocked bank account while waiting for the result of Apple's and its own appeal to the European Commission.

For several years, Apple has only been paying one per cent on corporation tax in Ireland, but this was due to an agreement between the firm and the country. In November, the now infamous "Paradise Papers" revealed that Apple has moved some of its operations to Jersey, a part of the Channel Islands near the coast of France. 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.

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