Apple reportedly close to reaching an agreement in Ireland tax brouhaha

Apple is close to reaching an agreement over Ireland’s sought indemnity from potential losses related to holding up to €15B (about US$18 billion) of the tech giant’s cash, reports Bloomberg.

Last year, the European Commission told Apple to repay about €13B in back taxes to the country, which had given Apple unfair tax breaks. Apple has to put the money into an escrow account while appealing the decision. If Apple wins, it gets the money back. 

The appeal could take up to five years. And Bloomberg says Ireland is concerned it will be held responsible for any drop in value while the money waits in escrow. 

Tim Cook has branded the European Commission ruling “total political crap.” Apple’s CEO also suggested the "retroactive" tax bill was an attempt by the European Union to grab taxes owed to the U.S. treasury and harmonize tax rates across the 28-nation bloc.