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Apple shifts profits to Jersey
08 November 2017, 01:11 | Gordon Grant
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar says that Ireland absolutely supports tax transparency internationally
The latest figures indicate that since Apple's reorganisation of its Irish companies this sum has increased 84%, though Apple will not confirm which of its foreign subsidiaries own this cash.
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.
It said it remains the world's largest taxpayer, paying about $35bn (£26bn) 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".
The news outlet and the non-profit investigative organization cited confidential records that were obtained by the German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung and shared.
Apple said it complies with laws and supports comprehensive global tax reform and a simpler tax system.
In Apple's case, it held its cash in Ireland to pay a much smaller tax rate than the 35 percent level in the US.
Apple eventually opted for Jersey, a British Crown Dependency off the coast of France that doesn't usually charge tax on foreign companies' profits and mostly falls outside of European Union jurisdiction.
The incentive, known as a capital allowance, offered Irish companies big tax deductions over many years if they spent money buying expensive intangible property.
The company is alleged to have rearranged its affairs, moving the firm holding most of its untaxed overseas cash to Jersey, after changes were made to controversial Irish tax practices, the BBC and Guardian said.
An Apple spokesman said the company hadn't engaged in any wrongdoing.
The Paradise Papers disclosures come as President Trump's administration seeks to overhaul the USA federal tax code.
Apple confirmed the move in an online post, saying it served to "ensure that tax obligations and payments to the USA were not reduced".
The EC then took Ireland to the European Court of Justice earlier this month when the Irish government had failed to reclaim any of the money since the order was given.
"Additional tax is then also due in the United States when the earnings are repatriated", the statement said. The cache of 13 million secret documents came from Appleby, a Bermuda-based law firm that helps businesses and wealthy individuals find tax shelters.
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".
Apple's offshore cash holdings [Chart: courtesy of SEC Filings] At the time lawmakers in Ireland (where Apple now keeps nearly all of its money) were cracking down on multinationals operating Irish subsidiaries for tax purposes, including Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, other tech companies and drugmakers like Abbott Laboratories.
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