Slice of Apple’s Irish tax billions goes to other countries

Apple Inc. reduced a massive back tax bill it must pay Ireland after other governments claimed a slice of the payment last year, according to regulatory filings.

Ireland saw the 13.1 billion euro ($14.4 billion) arrears shrink to 12.9 billion euros “due to taxes paid to other countries,” Apple said in the filings published in October and on Wednesday. It said it received approval from the Irish finance ministry last year to reduce the amount by 190 million euros. Neither Apple or Ireland would say which country or countries claimed the extra tax payment.

Apple had to pay back taxes following a 2016 European Commission ruling that the company had underpaid tax on profits for over a decade. Regulators said at the time that other European countries could also make a claim for part of the tax bill. Apple and Ireland are both challenging the EU decision at court and the funds are being held in an escrow account until the appeals are exhausted.

France struck a tax agreement with Apple on back taxes for the last 10 years, AFP reported last year. The finance ministry refused to give further details at the time. It isn’t clear that payment is related to the Irish tax bill.

Facing political pressure to take the money, the Irish government has consistently said it may face claims from other countries for a portion of the money.

The commission “has said publicly that the recovery amount may be reduced if other countries were to require Apple to pay more taxes,” the Irish finance ministry said in response to questions on Wednesday.

The commission didn’t respond to a request for comment.

— Aoife White, Dara Doyle and Stephanie Bodoni, with assistance from Peter Flanagan

Aoife White, Dara Doyle and Stephanie Bodoni
Bloomberg News