Apple is again singled out for its tax optimization techniques. The company assures in response that it has paid all of its taxes.
Jersey Island, a haven for Apple. The multinational has moved in 2015 the tax domicile of its international subsidiary of Ireland in Jersey, where the tax rate is zero. The information comes from documents obtained by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung as part of the Paradise Papers, a broad survey that reveals the tax optimization practices of large groups and celebrities around the world. In all, Apple would have accumulated 128 billion dollars (more than 110 billion euros) profits, not taxable in the United States.
Apple was quick to react. In a statement released Monday night, the company says it has paid more than $ 35 billion in taxes over the past three years. “Apple believes in the responsibility of every business to pay its taxes and, as the world’s largest taxpayer, Apple pays every dollar owed in every country in the world,” he said. The company justifies its arrangements by the desire to pay the bulk of its taxes in the United States and ensures that the change of headquarters presents “no tax advantage”. A usual speech of the company to justify its practices. Apple has been campaigning for several years for a reform of tax policy in the United States, which it considers unfair. “We have to pay taxes where we create value. But we do the majority of our research and development in the United States and pay our taxes, “said Apple CEO Tim Cook, Le Figaro earlier this year. “On the other hand, if we decided to repatriate our cash reserves in the United States, we would be taxed at 40%. We hope that at some point, a reform will do it at a lower rate. ”
From Ireland to Jersey
Apple’s tax optimization practices have been closely followed for several years. As early as 2013, US parliamentarians, Irish officials and the European Commission took a close interest in the US giant’s tax package, reports the New York Times. Several subsidiaries of the company and its European headquarters were then in Ireland, country with particularly advantageous taxation.
Under pressure from other European countries, Ireland was forced, in mid-2014, to put an end to tax optimization techniques deployed in the country by Apple, as well as by other multinationals. Apple would have consulted the Bermuda-based international law firm Appleby to discuss the possibility of establishing some of its subsidiaries in a tax haven. The British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands of Guernsey and Jersey were then mentioned. Apple finally bet on Jersey in 2015. Its European headquarters, it is still in Ireland.
Apple’s practices in Ireland have since been sanctioned by the European Commission. In August 2016, after three years of investigation, the institution imposed on Ireland to claim 13 billion euros of tax benefits to Apple. The group would have benefited from such “tax advantages” between 1991 and 2007. Ireland appealed this decision. In early October, the European Union sued the Irish authorities for failing to recover the money from Apple.
Apple is not the only new technology company to have been cited in the Paradise Papers survey. This is also the case of Facebook or Twitter, suspected to have been indirectly funded by companies close to the Russian government. Mark Zuckerberg’s company is also accused of using the services of the firm Appleby, already cited in the Apple case, to manage offshore companies.