Apple 'moved offshore funds to Jersey' after Ireland tax crackdown

08 November, 2017, 09:32 | Author: Martin Tyler
  • Apple 'set up a secret structure in Jersey to avoid paying billions of pounds in tax'

That report points out that Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton also appears among those involved, as part of a kind of financial soap opera.

Until 2013 Apple had funneled earnings from outside of the Americas through Ireland, which enabled the company to pay as little as 2% in corporation tax.

The move from Apple came after the company's shelter in Ireland began to be less reliable.

With this maneuver, the group disclosed lower profits than it had in reality and paid fewer taxes. The taxes it pays to countries around the world are based on that principle.

The Government also shut off the so-called "double Irish", which allowed companies to funnel profits into tax havens.

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Apple said it believes comprehensive global tax reform is essential, and that it has for many years been advocating for simplification of the tax code.

Apple settled on Jersey, a dependency of the United Kingdom, which had a tax rate of zero for foreign companies, reports indicated.

In a lengthy statement on its website, Apple says it pays "every dollar it owes in every country around the world", adding: "We believe every company has a responsibility to pay the taxes they owe and we're proud of the economic contributions we make to the countries and communities where we do business".

Until 2014, Apple had been exploiting loopholes - known as "double Irish" - which allowed it to push all its sales outside of the U.S. through Irish subsidiaries that ran up little or no tax.

German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung received the documents and shared them with ICIJ and its media partners, including The New York Times, Australia's ABC, the BBC in the United Kingdom, Le Monde in France and CBC in Canada.

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But by setting up a perfectly legal zero percent corporate tax rate structure in the Isle of Jersey, a BBC analysis found that with Apple making $44.7 billion in 2017 foreign profits outside the USA, the company only paid $1.65 billion, or 4 percent, in foreign taxes.

Appleby listed two Apple subsidiaries as based in Jersey, starting in 2015.

It alleges that Apple lawyers sent a questionnaire to the offshore finance firm Appleby, seeking to discover what tax havens like the British Virgin Islands, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Mauritius, the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey could do for Apple. It is clear, though, that a large amount of intangible property landed abruptly in Ireland around the period when Apple reorganised its subsidiaries.

Instead of paying Irish corporation tax of 12.5%, or the USA rate of 35%, its foreign tax payments rarely amounted to more than 5 % of its foreign profits - and dipped below 2% in some years.

"US multinational firms are the global grandmasters of tax avoidance schemes that deplete not just USA tax collection but the tax collection of most every large economy in the world", former corporate tax adviser Edward Kleinbard was quoted as saying by the NYT.

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