Paradise Papers: Apple moved offshore tax haven to Jersey after Ireland crackdown

08 November, 2017, 01:13 | Author: Manuel Hopkins
  • Apple 'set up a secret structure in Jersey to avoid paying billions of pounds in tax'

That then led Apple lawyers to look at six offshore tax havens that might allow an Irish subsidiary to "conduct management activities without being subject to taxation in these jurisdictions", according to the "Paradise Papers".

Apple's actions were not illegal and the companies have since moved out of Jersey. Specifically, to avoid paying $9 billion in USA corporate taxes in 2012, Apple allegedly used a strategy that involved rapid transfers of cash between three offshore units with no tax "residence".

Coverage of the documents is being coordinated by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, which has shared them with major media outlets including The New York Times, The Guardian and the BBC.

In relation to Apple's $252 billion cash pile, much of which is believed to be untaxed profits that went through its Irish subsidiaries, the statement said Apple has cash "overseas [outside the US] because that's where it sells the majority of its products". It said it pays an effective tax rate of 21 per cent on foreign earnings.

Up until 2014, the tech company had been exploiting a loophole in tax laws in the USA and the Republic of Ireland known as the "double Irish".

New documents made public as part of the release of the Paradise Papers revealed that Apple moved two of its subsidiary companies to the island of Jersey in order to avoid tax obligations and or regulations.

Despite being invited to do so, the corporation did not respond to speculation that Apple Operations Europe, which is now tax-resident in Ireland, may have spent tens of billions of euro, and possibly well in excess of €100 billion, on intellectual property which it brought from Apple subsidiaries now based in zero-taxed Jersey.

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Paradise Papers documents also show details of offshore deals involving Queen Elizabeth II, the US commerce secretary, a fundraiser for Canada's prime minister and others.

Apple said it has operated within the rules of the law and that it's paid more tax than any other company or individual. "We do not stash money on some Caribbean island".

Apple, as the highest taxpayer over the world knows that every corporation comes with a responsibility of paying its taxes, while the company pays each dollar that it owes to every country in the world. It said the move was made "specifically to ensure that tax obligations and payments to the US were not reduced".

The European Union is now trying to force Ireland to collect €13 billion ($15 billion) in unpaid taxes from Apple.

An investigation by the European Commission concluded the rate of tax for one of Apple's Irish companies for one year had been just 0.005%.

The 13 million documents that make up the so-called Paradise Papers were leaked - some say hacked - from specialist law firm Appleby, which has an office on Jersey.

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