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Apple cash pressure on Ireland may ease as collection nears

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Ireland's progress on collecting Apple's tax arrears may ease the pressure it faces from the European Commission, which has taken action against the government for failing to recoup the money quickly enough.

[DUBLIN] Ireland's progress on collecting Apple's tax arrears may ease the pressure it faces from the European Commission, which has taken action against the government for failing to recoup the money quickly enough.

Bank of New York Mellon won a contract to act as custodian for about 13 billion euros (S$21.16 billion) in back taxes that Apple will pay to Ireland, according to a person familiar with the matter on Monday. The appointment, when confirmed, will represent the most concrete step yet in collecting the cash.

In an order that reverberated across the Atlantic, the European Commission in 2016 slapped Apple with a record bill, saying Ireland granted unfair deals that reduced the company's effective corporate tax rate. After the government missed deadlines to collect the cash, the Commission in October referred Ireland to the European Court of Justice.

Still, in December, the EU indicated that it could drop the lawsuit if the money was collected. The Irish finance ministry declined to comment on the prospect of the case being dropped.

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While Apple and Ireland appeal the EU decision, the government will hold the money in an escrow account until the process is complete. The cash will flow into the account in the second and third qusrter of the year, the finance ministry said in January.

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