Apple has missed the deadline to pay €13bn (£11bn) it owes to the Irish government in tax benefits, the European Union's competition commissioner said on Tuesday (31 January). It follows last year's ruling that the tech giant received "illegal state aid" from the Irish government.

Margrethe Vestager, the European Commissioner for Competition, said that collecting the unpaid taxes is "complicated" because of the large sums of money involved.

She added there are added complications because Ireland's tax authorities are also working out their own calculations of how much the US company owes in unpaid taxes.

"The recovery [of the money] 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, reported CNBC.

"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 as an escrow account in some of the other cases where it might be €25m or €30m ... and therefore I do respect that it's a complicated matter and it may take a little more time."

In August, the commission said the "sweetheart" deal devised by the Irish government had allowed Apple to pay tax of just 0.005% in 2014 and an average rate of 1% over many years.

The ruling caused a great rift between the EU and Ireland, which claimed that the European Commission had misunderstood Irish law and overstepped its powers.

The US was also angered by the ruling and it was claimed that the EU was unfairly picking on American companies.

Both Ireland and Apple have pledged to fight the decision via the European courts. As a result, any payment of taxes could take several years.

Despite the stalemate, Vestager indicated the EU will push on with its investigations of tax deals and that opening cases into McDonalds and Amazon are "a high priority".