In agreement with legal process, Apple has now paid the first tranche of the $15bn total sum that the EU demands Apple pay Ireland. Whilst Ireland and Apple will object to the ruling in court, the EU believes Apple took advantage of an illegal low tax rate deal.
The first 1.5 billion euro payment will be deposited into an escrow account that keeps hold of the money until a final legal judgement is reached.
Apple’s payment schedule means the company will pay up the full 13 billion euros into escrow by September.
This money was initially due to be paid in the spring of 2017. However, administrative delays pushed the timeline back. This is the largest sum ever to be collected in a back-taxes case after all.
It will take years for a final court ruling on whether the tax payments should be upheld, likely with several rounds of appeals. Apple has said the EU’s decision is a ‘misunderstanding of how corporations operate’.
Apple recently pulled out of a plan to build a data center in Ireland. It assured residents that the decision was unrelated to the tax situation. The reason for cancelling the data center was due to objections by some environmental groups, which were preventing the project from breaking ground.