Apple $1.8 Billion Tax Arrears Payment Eases Pressure on Ireland

(Bloomberg) -- European authorities indicated they are open to dropping a case against Ireland for failing to collecting Apple Inc.’s tax arrears quickly enough, as the company paid over a first trance of cash.

In an order that reverberated across the Atlantic, the European Commission in 2016 slapped Apple with a record bill, saying Ireland granted unfair deals that reduced the company’s effective corporate tax rate. After the government missed deadlines to collect the cash, the Commission in October referred Ireland to the European Court of Justice. The Iphone maker has paid about 1.5 billion euros ($1.8 billion), the Finance Ministry said in Dublin on Friday.

“We continue to be in close contact with the Irish authorities and hope that recovery of the illegal aid is completed in full as soon as possible,” the EU’s press service said in response to questions. “That would also allow us to close the ongoing procedure before the EU Court of Justice against Ireland for not having implemented the Commission decision of August 2016."

While Apple and Ireland appeal the EU decision, the government will hold the money in an escrow account until the process is complete. The money will be fully recovered by the end of September, the finance ministry said.

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