Ireland should recover up to €13bn (£11bn) from Apple in back taxes, the European Commission has ruled.
After a three-year long investigation, it has concluded that the US firm’s tax benefits are illegal.
The Commission said this enabled it to pay substantially less than other businesses, in effect paying a corporate tax rate of no more than 1%.
Ireland’s finance minister, Michael Noonan, said that he disagreed “profoundly” with the decision.
“Member states cannot give tax benefits to selected companies – this is illegal under EU state aid rules,” said Commissioner Margrethe Vestager.
“The Commission’s investigation concluded that Ireland granted illegal tax benefits to Apple, which enabled it to pay substantially less tax than other businesses over many years,” she added.
Ireland is set to appeal against the decision.
“I disagree profoundly with the Commission,” Mr Noonan said in a statement.
“The decision leaves me with no choice but to seek cabinet approval to appeal. This is necessary to defend the integrity of our tax system; to provide tax certainty to business; and to challenge the encroachment of EU state aid rules into the sovereign member state competence of taxation.”