Corporate Tax 2014: Apple's tax avoidance is revealed in reports in Ireland
and Australia that focus attention again on Ireland's role in saving the
electronics giant billions in taxes.
Apple shifted an estimated A$8.9bn (€5.84bn) in untaxed profits from its
Australian operations "to a tax haven structure in Ireland in the last decade,"
an investigation by The Australian Financial Review
The AFR said that last year Apple reported pretax earnings in Australia of
only $88.5m after it sent an estimated A$2bn of income from its
Australian sales to Ireland via Singapore, where Apple negotiated a secret tax
deal in 2009.
according to accounts obtained by The Irish Times (it doesn't
publish them), for one of Apple's unlimited companies, which does not have to
file financial accounts at the Irish Companies Office, Apple Sales International
(ASI), the consumer electronics giant cut its Irish tax bill by more than €850m between 2004 and 2008, using an unexplained “lower rate”.
The newspaper says ASI provides “sales and marketing services” to Apple
subsidiaries around the world that sell iPods and iPads. Between 2004 and 2008,
it reported profits before tax totalling A$7.11bn on sales of more than A$29bn.
The accounts for those years state the corporation tax that would be due
using Ireland’s 12.5 per cent rate - - €890m over the five years.
But they also show how much corporation tax ASI actually paid to Irish
authorities – just €36m.
The Australian Financial Review
says that Apple Sales International has reported more than $US100bn
(A$112bn) of profits in the last five years. Its accounts show it has paid
less than 50¢ in tax on every $1000 of income.
Last May the US Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations revealed how
Apple was using Irish offshore companies that it considered as 'stateless' --
not obliged to report to any tax authority in the world -- to route much of its
overseas income through tax-free.
Ireland closed the 'stateless' loophole but it
didn't impact the Irish companies in West Atlantic tax havens that are part of
Irish Dutch Sandwich' tax-dodging scheme.
The AFR says that in the four years from 2010 to
2013 Apple’s Australian arm, Apple Pty Ltd, reported to ASIC total sales of
$20bn and pre-tax profits of $387m. The Financial Review analysis shows
that Apple’s Australian arm paid an estimated A$7.2bn in profits to Apple Sales
International in Ireland for “intangibles” over the same time frame. (Apple
Sales International reports marketing, research and other expenses in Ireland.)
In total, from 2002 to 2013, an estimated A$8.9bn
of Australian income has been shifted to Ireland.
The AFR said Noel White, Ireland’s ambassador to
Australia, said Ireland was unapologetic about its low rates - - what about no
Selection of Finfacts tax reports 2013/14:
US company profits per Irish
employee at $970,000; Tax paid in Ireland at $25,000
Corporate Tax 2014: White House and Congress to publish US reform proposals
Corporate Tax 2014: US
proposal of 17% rate for foreign profits
Irish Corporate Tax 2014: How official spin and distortion works - in short-term
Irish Corporate Tax 2014: Noonan signalls publicity offensive on effective rate
Corporate Tax 2014: Obama running with the hare and hunting with the hounds
Corporate Tax 2014: Yahoo! joins “Double Irish Dutch Sandwich” club; IDA Ireland
wants more members
Corporate Tax: Kenny reassures Facebook but
Ireland's rate is too high
Foreign government requests Bermuda to investigate Microsoft's Irish-linked
G-20 Australian presidency focuses on tax
"leaking bucket"; Ireland still in denial?
Corporate tax reform and the
biggest tech tax havens
Ireland's new International
Tax Charter: More political kabuki
Ireland's tax man for Silicon
Corporate Tax 2014: UK's revenues plunge; France considers reform
Check out our
, at a low annual charge of €25