The Republic of Ireland has been giving Apple a sweetheart deal which has meant in many years the company has been paying an effective tax rate of 1% to as low as 0.005 percent, and the EU has not been happy about it.
While it may seem the tax rate Ireland sets for Apple is only their own business, Ireland is also a recipient of aid from the EU, of which they would need less of if they collected more actual tax from the businesses based there.
The EU, therefore, demanded Ireland collect tax at a more normal rate, and when Ireland refused in 2016 referred them to the European Court of Justice.
Now it appears Apple and Ireland have agreed to cooperate, and pay $15.4 billion to the Irish government, all while however still continuing litigating the case.
“We have now reached agreement with Apple in relation to the principles and operation of the escrow fund,” Irish Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe told reporters.
The $15,4 billion will start flowing into Irish coffers in Q1 2018, but Apple continues to deny any wrongdoing.
“We have a dedicated team working diligently and expeditiously with Ireland on the process the European Commission has mandated,” Apple said in a Monday statement according to UPI. “We remain confident the General Court of the EU will overturn the Commission’s decision once it has reviewed all the evidence.”
Corporate tax evasion seriously undermines civil society and has become an increasing focus of the EU, so it is good to see Apple finally paying up, even if they still plan to claw it back later.
Via Ars Technica