Back in 2016, the European Commission ordered Apple to pay Ireland around 13 billion euros ($15.3 billion at current exchange rates) in back taxes. Apple had a special sweetheart deal with Ireland, which the commission ruled was illegal. Neither party was happy with this decision. Apple argued that the amount owed was miscalculated, while Ireland believed that the EU overstepped the bounds of its authority, but appeals so far have been unsuccessful. Now, according to Reuters, Apple has begun paying the owed back taxes.
The first payment is for 1.5 billion euros (about $1.76 billion) and it's been deposited into an escrow account that was specifically established by the Irish government to collect these taxes from Apple. This doesn't mean the dispute is resolved, though. Apple is paying the money into an escrow fund specifically because both parties are still trying to appeal the decision. However, the European Commission found that Ireland failed to follow the 2016 ruling in a timely manner, which is why the funds are now being collected.