European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager said Tuesday that the European Commission will finally close its legal investigation into Apple’s failure to pay back taxes to Ireland after the company paid €14 billion.
Today Irish Minister of Finance @Paschald confirmed the full recovery of €14 bn of illegal aid to Apple (unpaid taxes).
— Margrethe Vestager (@vestager) September 18, 2018
Ireland’s finance minister, Paschal Donohoe, applauded the EC’s move.
Positive news this evening that the @EU_Commission is closing the Court action and dropping infringement proceedings following on from recovery of of alleged State aid from Apple. Always Ireland’s intention to comply with our legal obligations in this regard
— Paschal Donohoe (@Paschald) September 18, 2018
Over two years ago, Ireland was formally referred to the European Court of Justice after it failed to implement a 2016 order that required the island nation to collect the same amount in unpaid taxes.
Back in September 2016, as Ars reported, Commissioner Vestager said at the time that a two-year investigation into so-called sweetheart tax deals in 1991 and 2007 had found Apple guilty of receiving illegal state aid from the Emerald Isle.
The deal had allowed Apple to pay an effective corporate tax rate of one percent on its European profits in 2003, down to as low as 0.005 percent in certain years, according to Vestager.