- Apple changes its corporate tax structure after the Irish government started to clamp down on the company’s tax affairs in Ireland. Apple said it has operated within the rules of the law and that it’s paid more tax than any other company or individual.
Apple said it is the largest tax payer in the world and that it hasn’t broken any laws after leaked documents showed it changed its corporate tax structure so it could book billions of dollars of profits through Jersey, a small island in the English Channel.
The iPhone maker hit back after a series of reports on Monday questioned Apple’s tax affairs, which were revealed as part of the Paradise Papers.
With help from lawyers including Applebys, Apple reportedly started channelling its profits through the offshore tax haven of Jersey after Ireland started to clamp down on the amount of tax Apple was paying there.
In a statement on Apple’s website, the company said it has paid $35 billion (£26 billion) in corporate income taxes over the last three years.
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“The debate over Apple’s taxes is not about how much we owe but where we owe it. As the largest taxpayer in the world we’ve paid over $35 billion in corporate income taxes over the past three years, plus billions of dollars more in property tax, payroll tax, sales tax and VAT.
“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.”
Apple has accumulated more than $128 billion (£97.4 billion) in profit offshore, according to The New York Times, which says the figure is likely to be much higher. Apple’s offshore profits aren’t taxed by the US and they’re largely untouched by other governments.
Other US tech giants like Google and Amazon have set up similar tax arrangements in order to pay as little tax as possible.
These tax avoidance schemes cost governments around the world as much as $240 billion a year in lost revenue, according to a 2015 estimate by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.
“At Apple we follow the laws, and if the system changes we will comply,” said Josh Rosenstock, an Apple spokesman, according to The New York Times. “We strongly support efforts from the global community toward comprehensive international tax reform and a far simpler system.”