Dublin’s finance minister Paschal Donohoe slammed the Brussels bigwigs over their decision and said Apple and the government were appealing against the ruling.
He insisted Apple had not benefited from special tax rules and neither Dublin nor the company violated European or Irish law.
Mr Donohoe said it was not his nation’s job and the request was not justified as the taxes were owed elsewhere, in particular in the US..
He said: “We are not the global tax collector for everyone else.”
The row broke out when the European Commission concluded last August that Apple’s tax status in Ireland was so low that it constituted illegal state aid and ordered the company to pay £12bn, plus interest, to the Irish government.
According to the Commission, Apple paid a one per cent tax rate in 2003 which fell to just 0.005 per cent in 2014.
Mr Donohoe said Apple and the Irish government were working out the final details ahead of placing the money in a holding account, pending the appeals.
Apple bosses said they remained confident the General Court of the European Union would overturn the Commission’s decision.
Mr Donohoe said Ireland did not intend to block the fight against tax evasion.
He said: “We have made great progress but the solution to the problem has to be found globally.”
He also distanced himself from French and German proposals that the EU do more to prevent Chinese investors from buying strategically important European companies, saying this would endanger Europe’s reputation for openness.
He said: “We must be very careful not to endanger our reputation as advocates for free trade.”