Ireland expects the US iPhone maker to start paying billions in back taxes, after the EU said in 2016 the money was the result of Apple receiving unfair tax incentives and launching a lawsuit against Ireland.
More than a year after an EU deadline for Ireland to recover €13 billion ($15.4 billion) in back taxes from Apple, Dublin has finally agreed to start recovering the money.
Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe told reporters before a meeting with European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager on Monday that Ireland and Apple had reached an agreement to "the principles and operation of the escrow fund" into which the US iPhone maker was expected to pay the money.
"We expect the money will begin to be transmitted into the account from Apple across the first quarter of next year," Donohoe said and added that the government was now seeking an investment manager and custodian to operate the fund.
In August 2016, Vestager said the tax deal struck between Apple and Ireland for the period 2003 to 2014 was illegal state aid. She ordered Dublin to reclaim the €13 billion plus interest by January this year.
But Apple and Ireland have denied the allegations and have appealed the decision at the European Court of Justice (ECJ)
As no money has been recovered to date, the European Commission itself referred Ireland to the ECJ in October for failing to recover what it found to be "illegal aid" to Apple.
While in Brussels to "update" Vestager on the agreement, Donohoe said Ireland was still contesting the Commission's ruling, but would be "complying with our obligations in terms of collecting the money from Apple."
Apple also said it remained "confident" that the EU court would "overturn the Commission's decision once it has reviewed all the evidence."
uhe/aos (Reuters, dpa)