Apple agrees to cough up for $15 billion Irish tax bill

Apple will begin making payments in the first quarter of next year

Apple will begin making payments in the first quarter of next year

It's understood that Apple will start paying the €13 billion in back taxes into an escrow account in first quarter of 2018.

Apple agreed to place the money into escrow, but as $15B escrow funds aren't exactly available as off-the-shelf financial products, and the iPhone maker believes it will get its money back when a court finally rules, it wanted to negotiate the terms of the escrow fund - presumably to ensure that it is earning a decent return.

This is a temporary account as it operates until the completion of a transaction process, which is implemented after all the conditions between the buyer and the seller are settled.

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"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 unfair advantage resulted in Apple avoiding as much as 13 billion euros in payments over the course of more than a decade.

Over a year ago, as Ars reported, the EU's competition chief Margrethe Vestager said that a two-year investigation into so-called sweetheart tax deals in 1991 and 2007 had found Apple guilty of receiving illegal state aid from the Emerald Isle. The Government has denied favouring Apple and has joined the company in appealing the original ruling. Per the Journal, the European Commission says it will not close court proceedings against Ireland until all of the money is transferred.

The European Union in 2016 launched a fresh crackdown over taxes paid by tech giant Apple.

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Earlier this month, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said that he did not "want to be in a situation where the Irish Government has to take Apple to court because the European Commission is taking the Irish Government to court".

Apple indicated it didn't see the arrangement as a settlement, though, and vowed to continue to fight to have the judgment overturned.

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