Ireland has allowed Apple to pay lower tax rates than other EU nations since the early 1990s, but the European Commission ruled in August 2016 that Ireland's practice was illegal and that Apple must pay the rest of the money it should have been taxed.
As a result of both parties contesting the ruling, the matter is now awaiting a European Court of Justice decision, and the money will be paid into the escrow account in the interim.
Ireland expects the U.S. iPhone maker to start paying billions in back taxes, after the European Union said in 2016 the money was the result of Apple receiving unfair tax incentives and launching a lawsuit against Ireland. Since then though, it seems that Apple has reached an agreement with Ireland to pay back €13 billion in back taxes.
The government said in a statement late on Monday (4 December) that an agreement had been reached "in relation to the framework of the principles that will govern the escrow arrangements".
What did Apple do exactly to warrant a payment as big as €13 billion?
Both Apple and Ireland dragged their feet on the repayment as they appealed the decision in court.
Irish finance chief Paschal Donohoe said Apple will start paying the money into an escrow fund during the first quarter of 2018. Per the Journal, the European Commission says it will not close court proceedings against Ireland until all of the money is transferred. Whether or not the original ruling gets overturned remains to be seen.