Almost $1 billion wiped from Apple's massive contested Irish tax fund

Side of Apple Park building
(Image credit: Apple)

A 14.3 billion euro escrow fund holding a massive disputed tax bill for Apple and the Irish government has shrunk by over a billion dollars in value due to global financial headwinds. 

Back in 2018, the European Commission decided that Apple and the Irish government's tax arrangement was less than satisfactory, and ordered the Cupertino company to cough up an eye-watering €14.3 billion in taxes plus interest the bloc judged Apple owed the country. 

Bizarrely, neither Apple nor Ireland wants to see this money handed over, the former for obvious reasons, and the latter because the ruling implies that state aid was given to Apple inappropriately. The disputed amount is held in a neutral escrow fund invested primarily in euro-zone government bonds, which have suffered in recent financial turmoil. 

Where's my money?

As The Irish Times reports, the Irish Department of Finance confirmed on Wednesday that 259 million euro has been wiped from the fund in the last year, bringing the total losses of the fund to almost a billion dollars. The fund is now worth less than 13.4 billion euro, from an initial total 14.3 billion. According to the report, "€253 million of the decline was the result of the value of bond investments falling as the market interest rates – or yield – on debt globally rose last year amid a flurry of central bank rate hikes," with another 6 million euro lost to "operating expenses."

The case has been appealed to the European Court of Justice, and a ruling is due next year, a which point the funds should be released. Unfortunately, for whoever ends up with the money, it'll be a hefty chunk less than they were hoping for. 

Since the initial ruling and dispute, Ireland has committed to a global 15% minimum rate of corporation tax, currently only charging 12.5%. Apple has housed its corporate operations in Europe in Cork for more than 40 years, employing more than 6,000 people across its main campus and other offices. 

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9