The Financial Times is reporting that an investigation into the legality of tax arrangements made between Ireland and Apple is continuing, with the European Commission looking for additional information on the deal from the Irish government. As a result, a ruling that was expected by the end of 2015 will not come until sometime next year.
The investigation revolves around a deal the Irish government made with Apple, offering a 2.5% corporate tax rate if the company would base its European operations in Ireland instead of the usual 12.5% corporation tax.
Apple hasn't done anything illegal by taking up the deal; the Irish government offered illegal state support to a business, something that is against EC business and taxation regulations. However, if the investigation concludes that the deal is illegal, then Apple would need to pay back taxes accrued over the past ten years. That would amount to billions of Euros.
Similar arrangements that were made with Starbucks and Fiat in Luxembourg and the Netherlands have been ruled illegal. Even if Apple is forced to pay the back taxes, the company has announced it will be adding 1,000 jobs in Ireland by the middle of 2017.