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Apple pays over the €14.3bn due to Ireland - but the minister again denies that it's owed

Ireland is appealing the EU Commission that Apple was in receipt of illegal state aid.

Image: Tim Goode/PA Images

APPLE HAS NOW paid the €14.3 billion in back taxes and interest that was due to Ireland following the landmark EU ruling in 2016. 

The EU Commission ruled in 2016 that Ireland gave multinational tech giant Apple illegal state aid worth up to €13 billion over a decade.

The Department of Finance is appealing the decision because it denies that there was any sweetheart deal in place.

Despite the appeal, Ireland is obliged to collect the funds and hold them in escrow until the appeal process is concluded.

In a statement this afternoon, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe confirmed that the entirety of the funds have now been collected. 

The department said that approximately €13.1 billion in state aid and €1.2 billion in interest was deposited in the escrow account by Apple over the second and third quarters of this year. 

“The full recovery of the alleged state aid is a significant milestone and is in line with the commitment given earlier in the year that the alleged state aid would be recovered by end Q3 2018,” the department said in a statement.

The EU Commission had previously complained that Ireland was “taking too long” to recover the funds from Apple.

Then last year the National Treasury Management Agency revealed that BNY Mellon had won the tender to operate the multi-billion euro escrow account and in May it was confirmed that the first tranche of the funds were paid.

Speaking today now that the entirety of the funds have been paid, Minister Donohoe again reiterated that the government is seeking the have the EU Commission’s decision reversed.

“While the government fundamentally disagrees with the Commission’s analysis in the Apple state aid decision and is seeking an annulment of that decision in the European Courts, as committed members of the European Union, we have always confirmed that we would recover the alleged state aid,” Donohoe said.

We have demonstrated this with the recovery of the alleged state aid which will be held in the escrow fund pending the outcome of the appeal process before the European Courts.

“This is the largest State Aid recovery at c. €14.3 billion and one of the largest funds of its kind to be established. It has taken time to establish the infrastructure and legal framework around the escrow fund but this was essential to protect the interests of all parties to the agreement.”

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Rónán Duffy

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