Apple to begin paying $15B to Ireland in back taxes

The EU determined that Apple, which employs thousands of workers in Ireland, had failed to pay taxes on several years of European profits due to a special arrangement it had made with the Irish government.

Apple Inc. and Ireland have reached an agreement on the terms of an escrow fund, allowing the transfer of roughly €13 billion ($15.46 billion) in allegedly unpaid taxes that the European Union ordered Dublin to retrieve, beginning in the first quarter of next year, Ireland's finance chief said Monday.

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"We have now reached agreement with Apple in relation to the principles for the operation of the escrow fund", said Paschal Donohoe, Irish Finance Minister.

Apple has agreed to put the money into an escrow account, although since escrow funds aren't useful as immediate financial products - combined with the fact that Apple still believes it will get that money back eventually after a court ruling - Apple likely wanted to negotiate the terms of the fund. Both are continuing to appeal the decision and the money will sit in an escrow fund while they do so.

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The EU ruling that Ireland offered illegal state aid to Apple, and must recover €13B ($15B) in underpaid taxes, marked the end of a long-running investigation - but not the end of the dispute ... "We remain confident the General Court of the EU will overturn the Commission's decision once it has reviewed all the evidence".

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