Apple, whose CEO Tim Cook likes to talk a big game about how the tech industry should be more socially responsible while overseeing an global tax-avoidance regime that puts Scrooge McDuck's gold-filled vault/swimming pool to shame, has agreed to repay Ireland $14.6 billion (around €13 billion) in unpaid taxes, the Wall Street Journal reported. Since then though, it seems that Apple has reached an agreement with Ireland to pay back €13 billion in back taxes.
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Apple filed an appeal against the Commission's ruling in December 2016, and the company accused outspoken EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager of using Apple as a "convenient target" to make headlines. "Until the illegal aid is recovered, [Apple] continues to benefit from an illegal advantage, which is why recovery must happen as quickly as possible", the Commission said in a statement at the time.
In fact, the European Commission had ordered the government of Ireland to collect the "back taxes" only after concluding that two Irish tax coding permitted by Apple, that is to pay less tax than other businesses.
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"The Commission's case against Ireland has never been about how much Apple pays in taxes, it's about which government gets the money", the firm said in a statement.
The Irish Finance Ministry said: "These sums will be placed into an escrow fund with the proceeds being released only when there has been a final determination in the European Courts over the validity of the Commission's Decision".
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Both Apple and the Irish government have appealed the ruling, but the position in the meantime is that the amount must be collected.