Apple ready to start paying €13bn bill

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Apple, whose CEO Tim Cook likes to talk a big game about how the tech industry should be more socially responsible while overseeing an worldwide tax-avoidance regime that puts Scrooge McDuck's gold-filled vault/swimming pool to shame, has agreed to repay Ireland $14.6 billion (around €13 billion) in unpaid taxes, the Wall Street Journal reported.

iPhone maker Apple has agreed to pay Ireland $15.46 billion in back taxes by early 2018.

"We have now reached agreement with Apple in relation to the principles and operation of the escrow fund", said finance minister Paschal Donohoe in Brussels.

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While both have appealed the decision, the money Apple owes will be put in escrow while everything is being hashed out - but it will start being paid.

As a result of both parties contesting the ruling, the matter is now awaiting a European Court of Justice decision, and the money will be paid into the escrow account in the interim.

Ireland's low tax deals to large companies has been a key role in the country's economic success. However, Dublin as well as Apple continue to contest the European Commission's ruling.

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So the Commission referred the Irish government to the European Court of Justice in October due to Ireland's non-compliance with the 2016 ruling.

"We have a dedicated team working diligently and expeditiously with Ireland on the process the European Commission has mandated", the company told the Journal in a statement.

Corporate tax evasion seriously undermines civil society and has become an increasing focus of the European Union, so it is good to see Apple finally paying up, even if they still plan to claw it back later.

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