Apple defends new tax haven after Ireland gets tough

Apple defends new tax haven after Ireland gets tough

Apple defends new tax haven after Ireland gets tough

A trove of documents known as the Paradise Papers have reportedly shed light on Apple's search for a new place to store the huge sums, after more than two decades of benefiting from artificially low taxes in Ireland.

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.

The paper reported Apple, with the help of law firm Appleby, chose Jersey for its 0 percent corporate tax rate.

Google Maps/BI " The debate over Apple's taxes is not about how much we owe but where we owe it.

"Under this arrangement, the MacBook-maker has continued to enjoy ultra-low tax rates on most of its profits and now holds much of its non-US earnings in a $252 billion mountain of cash offshore".

The Paradise Papers documents show that Apple's two key Irish subsidiaries, Apple Operations International (AOI) and Apple Sales International (ASI) were managed with the assistance of Appleby's office in Jersey from the start of 2015 until early 2016.

It said reports inaccurately state that it is avoiding tax in the US. For instance, the company said its 2015 corporate reorganization was "specially created to preserve its tax payments to the United States, not to reduce its taxes anywhere else".

It said it remained the world's largest taxpayer, paying about $35bn (NZ$49bn) 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".

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An Apple spokesman told the New York Times that the company told regulators in the United States and European Commission of the reorganisation of its Irish subsidiaries at the end of 2014, and said the moves did not reduce its tax payments in any country. The move is said to have enabled Apple to amass as much as $252bn (£191bn) of cash offshore.

Apple came under pressure in 2013 in the US Senate, when CEO Tim Cook was forced to defend its tax system.

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It is claimed that the companies were set up in Jersey after Apple "shopped around" for a new jurisdiction following the closure of a tax loophole in Ireland which the firm exploited until 2013.

A law professor who reviewed the documents told the newspaper that there was a "strong possibility" that Apple moved intellectual property to Ireland in a transfer worth almost $200 billion.

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".

They also indicate that Apple's restructuring has not led to an appreciable increase in the level of tax it is paying in Ireland.

That expenditure could be used to completely write-off the need to pay tax on profits booked by Apple Operations Europe, because the 80 per cent cap was removed.

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