Apple fingered in Paradise Papers
Publish date: 08 November 2017
Issue Number: 1708
Diary: Legalbrief eLaw
The world's most profitable firm has a secretive new structure that would enable it to continue avoiding billions in taxes, the Paradise Papers show. They reveal how Apple sidestepped a 2013 crackdown on its controversial Irish tax practices by actively shopping around for a tax haven. BBC News reports that it then moved the firm holding most of its untaxed offshore cash – $252bn – to Jersey. Apple said the new structure had not lowered its taxes. It said it remained the world's largest taxpayer, paying about $35bn in corporation tax over the past three years, that it had followed the law and its changes ‘did not reduce our tax payments in any country’. As previously reported in eLaw & Management, Apple exploited a loophole in tax laws in the US and the Republic of Ireland until 2014. ‘We are all bearing witness to the consequences of Congress’ failure to address offshore tax haven abuse,’ said Gawain Kripke, policy director for Oxfam America. ‘Yet congressional leaders are charging forward with a tax bill which has as its primary feature a massive windfall for offshore tax dodgers.’ The LA Times reports that the international antipoverty organisation called for an immediate pause on the Republican tax Bill and an investigation into the activities revealed by the Paradise Papers. Apple, in response to reports based on the documents, on Monday defended its tax payments, saying the maker of iPhones is the largest taxpayer in the world and that the company ‘pays every dollar it owes in every country around the world’.