The European Commission has ruled that Ireland should recover up to 13 billion euros from Apple in back taxes.
After a three-year investigation, it has concluded that the US firm’s tax benefits are illegal.
The Commission said Ireland enabled the company to pay substantially less than other businesses, in effect paying a corporate tax rate of no more than one per cent.
Ireland and Apple both said they disagreed with the decision and would appeal against it.
The EU has made taxes a core issue since the LuxLeaks scandal in which it was revealed that European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s native Luxembourg gave companies huge tax breaks while he was Prime Minister.
In October Brussels ordered US coffee giant Starbucks and Italian automaker Fiat to each repay up to 30 million euros ($34 million) in back taxes to the Netherlands and Luxembourg respectively.