Washington– iPhone maker Apple has agreed to pay Ireland $15.46 billion in back taxes by early 2018.

According to Wall Street Journal, Irish Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said on Monday that both sides agreed to the terms of an escrow fund for the money.

The European Union in 2016 launched a fresh crackdown over taxes paid by tech giant Apple.

The EU said it planned to refer Ireland to the European Court of Justice for failing to recover the money in back taxes from Apple.

According to the EU, the tax deal allowed Apple to pay almost nothing in tax on its European profits between 2003 and 2014.

It concluded that the US firm’s Irish tax benefits were illegal, enabling the firm to pay a corporate tax rate of no more than one per cent.

Ireland had claimed that EU regulators were interfering with national sovereignty.

Not just Apple, Amazon was also ordered to repay $293 million in back taxes after the European Commission said it had been given an unfair tax deal in Luxembourg.

Amazon denied it owed any back tax, saying it did “not receive any special treatment from Luxembourg”. (IANS)