Apple is behind with its taxes, but the tax inspector doesn't mind.

Last August, the European Commission closed a three-year investigation of Apple's tax affairs with an order to the Irish government that it should recover about €13 billion US$14.5 billion in taxes that it believed Apple had underpaid over the last decade.

Ireland has missed the deadline for recovering the billions, but Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, who gave the Irish government four months to collect the taxes, is proving very understanding about the delay.

"The recovering is not done yet but we have been working with the Irish authorities and we can see that they are moving forward to do the recovery of the unpaid taxes," she said at a news conference in Dublin on Tuesday.

"It's a tricky thing to do because it's a large sum, so of course you have to figure out how to do that.

It's not an escrow account as in some of the other cases where it's €25 million or €30 million or something like that," she said.

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