Apple believed to have received illegal state aid
The EU has found that Apple received illegal state aid from Ireland
The European Commission (EC) has written to the Irish government outlining its findings on an investigation into the issue and has now made the letter public.
Ireland's corporate tax rate is set at 12.5%, but Apple enjoys an effective rate of tax of 2%, due to the way it channels overseas sales through its subsidiaries.
The letter states that, "The Commission has doubts about the compatibility of such State aid with the internal market."
The body will now launch a full investigation and has requested a number of documents from the Irish government.
Apple told the BBC it has received 'no selective treatment'.
Ireland's Department of Finance said in a statement earlier this week: "Ireland is confident that there is no breach of state aid rules in this case and has already issued a formal response to the Commission earlier this month, addressing in detail the concerns and some misunderstandings contained in the opening decision."
The EC is also looking at whether other countries, including Luxembourg and the Netherlands, unfairly favour multinationals.
If any company is found to have benefited from illegal state aid, it will have to repay any tax benefit it received.
There is a wide range of estimates as to the sum that Apple would have to repay - anything between a few tens of millions to billions of Euros.
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