Apple Will Start Paying Back Taxes to Irish Government Next Month Amid Legal Battle With European Regulators
Apple will start paying 13 billion euros in back taxes to the Irish government from May, according to the Financial Times, nearly two years after the European Commission ruled that the company received illegal aid from the country that saw its tax bill significantly reduced over the past few decades.
As expected, the report states that Apple and the Irish government have reached an agreement to set up an escrow account to hold the money while both sides appeal the August 2016 ruling in Europe’s highest court. Once the amount has been received in full, additional interest payments will be calculated.
Ireland’s finance minister Paschal Donohoe today said the appeal process is likely to begin in the fall, according to Reuters.
Ireland is required to hold the funds in escrow until the legal process is completed, according to the report. Apple previously said the amount will be reported as restricted cash on its balance sheet once it begins making payments.
For background, the European Commission said the Irish government gave Apple unfair advantage between 1991 and 2007 by allowing the company to move income from the European market through two “non-resident” head office subsidiaries based in Ireland, but Apple says there are “fundamental errors” in the findings.
Apple CEO Tim Cook previously called the decision “total political crap” and said Apple pays all of the taxes it owes based on the laws of each country in which it operates. Likewise, the Irish government said it did not give favorable tax treatment to Apple and added that it “does not do deals with taxpayers.”
Apple expects its appeal with the European Union’s highest courts to take several years, but it is confident the European Commission’s decision will be overturned, in which case the 13 billion euros would be returned to the company.