Government receives €1.5bn payment from Apple following EU's state aid ruling

The EU has ordered the tech giant to pay Ireland €13 billion over 'illegal tax benefits'

Government receives €1.5bn payment from Apple following EU's state aid ruling

Picture by: Yui Mok/PA Wire/PA Images

The Government has received the first payment of taxes it is owed by Apple.

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said around €1.5 billion in what the Government has described as 'alleged State aid' has been collected today.

It's the first payment out of the €13 billion the EU has ordered the tech giant to pay, and has been deposited into an escrow fund.

The rest of the money is due to be collected by late autumn.

In a statement, the Department of Finance said: "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 appealed against the decision of the European Commission, who ruled Apple has had an unfair advantage because of its tax treatment here.

Speaking about the ruling in August 2016, Commissioner Margrethe Vestager - who is in charge of competition policy - said Ireland had granted 'illegal tax benefits' to Apple.

She said: "This selective treatment allowed Apple to pay an effective corporate tax rate of 1 per cent on its European profits in 2003 down to 0.005 per cent in 2014."

The European Commission last October said it had referred Ireland to the European Court of Justice for failing to recover the money.

At the time, the Department of Finance said it had never accepted the Commission's initial findings - but insisted the Government was "committed to ensuring that recovery of the alleged Apple state aid".