According to a top Irish official, Apple has agreed to to pay Ireland around $15.4 billion in back taxes.
Irish Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said he expected the flow of money from Apple to begin in the first quarter of 2018 once they complete the tendering processes to determine who would operate the account and who would then manage the fund, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Both Apple and the government of Ireland are appealing the ruling, and it appears Apple executives expect to recoup the money if successful. Since the early nineties, Apple has enjoyed an agreement with Ireland that requires it to pay tax rates as low as 0.005%, which originated as part of Ireland's attempt to spur foreign investment.
The ruling stated that tax benefits received by the tech company were illegal under European Union rules, because they allowed Apple to pay substantially less tax than other businesses. In 2016, the European Commission ruled that the arrangement is "illegal under EU state aid rules". Apple has long challenged this characterization of its tax schemes, with CEO Tim Cook calling the EU Commissioner's ruling "total political crap".
The announcement comes after some tension with Brussels, which referred Ireland to the European Court of Justice in October of this year for failing to collect the back taxes.
What did Apple do exactly to warrant a payment as big as €13 billion?
The European Commission said the record sum was the result of Apple receiving unfair tax incentives from Ireland.