Apple pays $1.77bn of total $15bn tax fine to Ireland

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San Francisco, May 20 (IANS) Apple has paid $1.77 billion of total $15 billion to the Irish government as it begins to collect tax and interest into an escrow account set up to hold the sum.

“This is the first of a series of payments with the expectation that the remaining tranches will flow into the fund during the second and third quarter of 2018 as previously outlined,” the Irirsh Times quoted Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe as saying after the first transfer.

In August 2016, the European Commission said that Apple benefited from illegal tax benefits in Ireland from 2003 to 2014.

Meanwhile, Apple and Ireland are still pursuing appeals against a 2016 European Commission’s decision saying the iPhone maker’s tax treatment was in line with Irish and European Union law.

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In 2016, the EU ordered the iPhone maker to pay almost $15 billion in back taxes to Ireland as it believed Ireland had not been collecting enough taxes and instead had been giving companies like Apple too big of a break on its already low 12.5 per cent tax rate.

Apple has reportedly moved its cash to the small island of Jersey off the south coast of England to avoid further Irish taxation, CNET said in a report.

The Irish government expects that all of the money would be transferred by the end of September.

–IANS

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