Apple strikes interim deal on escrow fund for $15B Irish tax claim

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But Apple executives later told Reuters that it plans to appeal the ruling at Europe's second-highest court, saying the company had been targeted because of its success.

While the appeals are still ongoing, the European Commission ordered Ireland to begin collecting Apple's taxes on January 3, and the organization referred Ireland to the EU Court in October for failing to comply with the deadline.

Not just Apple, Amazon was also ordered to repay $293 million in back taxes after the European Commission said it had been given an unfair tax deal in Luxembourg. While one might wonder why the Irish government might turn up its nose at $20 billion, by offering annual tax rates as low as 0.005 per cent for over a decade, Ireland essentially acted as a tax haven - a status it has used to attract investment and presence by global corporations.

"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.

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The Cupertino firm was found to owe the money in a ruling in 2016 which found that Apple and Irish tax officials had made deals between 1991 and 2007 which amounted to state aid.

Having long disputed the ruling and failing to collect the tax, the case was sent to the European Court of Justice.

While the decision is being appealed, the money will be held in an escrow fund. Apple has said it wanted to negotiate the interest rate of the escrow fund.

In a statement, Apple said that it remains confident the court will overturn the commission's decision once it has reviewed the evidence.

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