On August 30, 2016 the European Commission announced that it had concluded that Ireland granted undue tax benefits of up to €13 billion to Apple. According to the EU this was illegal under EU state aid rules, because it allowed Apple to pay substantially less tax than other businesses. Consequently Ireland had to recover the illegal aid.
On October 4, 2017 the European Commission subsequently announced that it had decided to refer Ireland to the European Court of Justice for failing to recover from Apple illegal State aid. According to the European Commission, on October 4, 2017, more than one year after the Commission's decision, Ireland had still not recovered any of the illegal aid. Furthermore, although according to the European Commission Ireland had made progress on the calculation of the exact amount of the illegal aid granted to Apple, Ireland was only planning to conclude this work by March 2018 at the earliest. For the European Commission that was a reason to decide to refer Ireland to the Court of Justice for failure to implement the Commission’s decision, in accordance with Article 108(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).
On May 18, 2018 the Irish Ministry of Finance issued a press release announcing that Apply has made a first payment of alleged State aid from Apple. In the press release furthermore the following is stated:
“The Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD, on behalf of the Government, confirms that the collection of the alleged State aid from Apple has commenced today (Friday) with the payment of the first tranche of [circa €1.5 billion] being deposited in the Escrow Fund. This is the first of a series of payments with the expectation that the remaining tranches will flow into the fund during Q2 and Q3 of 2018 as previously outlined.
There will be no further official comment on collection of the alleged State aid until the full recovery has been effected which is expected by the end of Q3 2018.
The Government does not accept the Commission’s analysis in the Apple State aid decision and have lodged an appeal with the European Courts. However, we have always been clear that we are fully committed to ensuring that recovery of the alleged Apple state aid takes place without delay and have committed significant resources to ensuring this is achieved.”
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