Ireland expects the first appeal hearings over the European Union's decision to make Apple pay €13 billion in back-taxes to take place in the autumn.
Speaking today, Irish finance minister Paschal Donohoe confirmed that the European Union will likely hear the appeal by the end of the year.
"We expect the appeal is likely to begin in the autumn. How long the hearings will last will depend on the judges overseeing it and could be open to either party after that to take any further actions," he told Reuters.
However, before the hearing takes place, it is understood that Apple will begin making payments to the Irish government from next month.
In December 2017, Apple and Irish government came to an agreement with the European Union to put the money into an escrow account before the appeal takes place.
According to the Financial Times, Donohoe signed a legal agreement with Apple to create the account today. Apple should be able to recover the money by September.
He told journalists: "This is a very, very significant day now in terms of dealing with this issue.
"This is the largest recovery fund of its kind ever to be established and, due to the complexity of such, together with our duty to comply with EU procurement rules, it has taken some time to get to this point," he said.
In recent years, Apple has been at loggerheads with the European Union over its tax affairs in Ireland.
The Irish government has been accused of providing the company with tax incentives in return for continued investment. Its corporation tax rates are also among the lowest in the European Union.
In 2016, the European Commission filed a legal complaint against Apple and Ireland, calling the tax arrangement illegal. It then ordered the company to pay back the fair amount of tax.
A spokesperson for Apple said at the time: "The Commission's case against Ireland has never been about how much Apple pays in taxes, it's about which government gets the money.
"The United States government and the Irish government both agree we've paid our taxes according to the law."
The Irish government has long held the view that the European Commission abused its powers.
At the time, it said: "The purpose of the state aid rules is to tackle state interventions which confer a selective advantage. The state aid rules by their nature cannot remedy mismatches between tax systems on a global level."
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