Ireland’s Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe announced on April 24 that an appeal by Apple and Ireland against a European Union ruling for the US firm to pay €13bn in disputed taxes is likely to be heard before the end of this year.

In August 2016, the European Commission ruled that Apple had received unfair tax incentives. Both Apple and Dublin are appealing against the original ruling, saying the iPhone maker’s tax treatment was in line with Irish and European Union law.

“We expect the appeal is likely to begin in the autumn,” Donohoe told journalists on April 24. “How long the hearings will last, will depend on the judges overseeing it and could be open to either party after that to take any further action.”

As reported by the Reuters news agency, the Commission told Ireland to collect €13bn in back taxes, a figure Ireland’s finance department estimated last year could reach €15bn including EU interest.

Meanwhile, the Commission said in October it was taking Dublin to the European Court of Justice over delays in recovering the money that was due to be recovered in January 2017, four months on from the initial ruling.

On April 24, a spokesman for the Commission said they hope the funds would be recovered fully as soon as possible to allow it to close the EU Court of Justice’s action against Ireland for missing that deadline.

Ireland has insisted that it has acted as fast as it could to facilitate collection and management of such a large sum.