Apple and Ireland tax appeal to take place in September

Paschal Donohoe said while the Government disagreed strongly with the European Commission's original decision he always made it clear that it will adhere to its ruling as it prepares its appeal case

Apple Inc. completed an agreement with Ireland enabling the company to transfer roughly €13 billion ($16 billion) into a Dublin escrow account, in a step toward complying with a European Commission tax order.

An appeal by Apple and Ireland against a European Union ruling for the US firm to pay 13 billion euros ($16 billion) in disputed taxes is likely to be heard before the end of the year, Irish Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said on Tuesday.

"We expect the appeal is likely to begin in the autumn", Donohoe said.

Technology giant Apple signed a legal agreement with the Irish government today that will allow the recovery of tax breaks deemed illegal by the end of the year.

The finance minister Paschal Donohoe said the complexity of setting up the recovery fund led to delays in recovering the money after the initial ruling by the EC in August 2016.

"I am happy that I can sign the deed with Apple today, which has been the subject of hard and intensive work".

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While the European Union has repeatedly challenged the "incentivized" tax rate as a "special arrangement" granted only to Apple, both Cupertino and the Irish government have remained steadfast in their rejection of the EU's notion.

The Commission concluded that the €30m sugar tax on fizzy drinks, which comes into effect next month, does not involve State aid. It then ordered the company to pay back the fair amount of tax.

Apple is set to start paying the?13bn of back taxes it owes Ireland in May, the government revealed on Tuesday. Both the firm and the Irish Government disagree with the decision and are still appealing the ruling.

In its original ruling, the commission found that two tax rulings made by the Revenue Commissioners offered Apple a selective advantage and this constituted illegal state aid.

The money will be held in an escrow account meaning the proceeds can not be released until there has been a final determination in the European courts over the validity of the Commission's decision.

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