Apple agrees to start paying Irish government €13bn in back taxes

US tech business Apple has struck an agreement with the Irish government to begin its repayment of €13bn (£11.38bn) in back taxes.

The Irish finance ministry confirmed that it was signing the agreement today which will see payment start in the second quarter of the year with full recovery expected by the end of the third quarter.

Apple agreed to pay Ireland the €13bn after the European Commission ruled in 2016 that it had received unfair tax incentives under EU state aid rules.

Read more: EU regulators to probe Apple's acquisition of music app Shazam

The money is being paid into an escrow account as both Ireland and Apple have appealed against the ruling by EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager.

The ministry said that it expects the money to flow into the escrow fund in “significant tranches”.

Read more: Apple results preview – have smartphone sales peaked?

Irelands finance minister Paschal Donohoe said:“The government fundamentally disagrees with the ruling of the Commission. However, as committed members of the European Union, Ireland is intent on complying with our binding legal obligations in this regard.”

He described the payment as “the largest recovery fund of its kind ever to be established” and said that he expected the “recovery of the funds will be completed by end Q3 2018”.

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