A total of €13.1bn (£11.7bn) in unpaid taxes that are owed by Apple to Ireland has finally been collected. The news was confirmed by the country’s finance minister. The tax bill also comes with €1.2bn in interest.
The tech giant paid the sum into an escrow fund while it was waiting for the result of the two appeals that were launched by the company and the government of Ireland.
In August 2016, the European Commission ordered Apple to repay the funds. It ruled that the iPhone maker had effectively reaped benefits coming from illegal state aid.
Paschal Donohoe, the minister for finance of Ireland, stated: “While the government fundamentally disagrees with the Commission’s analysis in the Apple state aid decision and is seeking an annulment of that decision in the European Courts, as committed members of the European Union, we have always confirmed that we would recover the alleged state aid.”
The appeal of Ireland that asked the general court of the European Union to annul the decision of the commission has been granted priority status, however, Ireland’s Department of Finance said that the process will possibly take several years.
In October l2017, the commission referred Ireland to court for not being able to recover the money that Apple owed it.
Ireland blamed the complications in establishing the escrow fund for the fact that it has only received the money now, after more than two years after the ruling of the commission.
Donohoe stated: “This is the largest state aid recovery at €14.3bn and one of the largest funds of its kind to be established.”
He added: “It has taken time to establish the infrastructure and legal framework around the escrow fund but this was essential to protect the interests of all parties to the agreement.”
The commission discovered that Ireland asked Apple to pay less tax as compared to other firms. It meant that its effective corporate tax rate on its profits in Europe was one percent in 2003, and only 0.005 percent in 2014.
Tim Cook, chief executive of Apple, has called the ruling “maddening.”