Apple hasn’t fully paid the 13 billion euros ($13.9 billion) it owes to Ireland in illegal tax benefits even though the deadline has passed, the European Union’s Competition Commissioner says.
“Well the recovery is not done yet but we have been working with the Irish authorizes and we can see that they are moving forward to do the recovery of the unpaid taxes,” EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said during a press conference in response to a question by CNBC. “It’s a tricky thing to do because it’s a large sum so of course you have to figure out how to do that. It’s not as an escrow account in some of the other cases where it might be 25 or 30 million euros … and therefore I do respect that it’s a complicated matter and it may take a little more time.”
Both Ireland and Apple have pledged to fight the decision via the European courts. Vestager said at the press conference that she doesn’t know when the court case will take place for Apple and Ireland to appeal the EU’s decision.
Ireland’s cabinet has agreed to join Apple in appealing against the €13 billion back tax demand that the EU has levied against the Cupertino, California-based company.
The Commission’s ruling this week also angered Washington, which accuses the EU of trying to grab tax revenue that should go to the U.S. government. Tim Cook has branded the European Commission ruling “total political crap.” Apple’s CEO also suggested the “retroactive” tax bill was an attempt by the EU to grab taxes owed to the U.S. treasury and harmonize tax rates across the 28-nation bloc.