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He added that the Government expects that "the money will begin to be transmitted into the account from Apple across the first quarter of next year".

Ireland expects the United States iPhone maker to start paying billions in back taxes, after the European Union said in 2016 the money was the result of Apple receiving unfair tax incentives and launching a lawsuit against Ireland. Like other firms, Apple made use of Ireland to help reduce its tax bills, and this is something that the European Commission took exception to.

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

The Irish government has reached an agreement with Apple to start collecting the 13 billion euros ($15 billion) owed by the tech giant, it announced Monday.

Ireland was formally referred to the European Court of Justice after it failed to implement a 2016 order that required the island nation to collect the same amount in unpaid taxes.

In August 2016, Vestager said the tax deal struck between Apple and Ireland for the period 2003 to 2014 was illegal state aid.

While the appeals are still ongoing, the European Commission ordered Ireland to begin collecting Apple's taxes on January 3, and the organization referred Ireland to the EU Court in October for failing to comply with the deadline.

The Irish Finance Ministry said: "These sums will be placed into an escrow fund with the proceeds being released only when there has been a final determination in the European Courts over the validity of the Commission's Decision".

According to the EU, the tax deal allowed Apple to pay nearly nothing in tax on its European profits between 2003 and 2014.

Apple indicated it didn't see the arrangement as a settlement, though, and vowed to continue to fight to have the judgment overturned.


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