Apple global tax avoiders- Senate committee

A US Senate committee said Apple had used “a complex web of offshore entities” to avoid paying billions of dollars in taxes.
The US Senate had said that Apple paid little or nothing on billions of dollars in profits placed in Irish subsidiaries.

The Irish Republic, home to three Apple subsidiaries, claims that it is not to blame for the firm’s low tax payments.

“They are not issues that arise from the Irish taxation system,” Deputy Prime Minister Eamon Gilmore told national broadcaster RTE when asked about the Senate committee report.  “They are issues that arise from the taxation systems in other jurisdictions and that is an issue that has to be addressed first of all in those jurisdictions.”

Apple has a cash stockpile of £95 billion ($145 billion), but the Senate committee said £67 billion of this was held offshore.

The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations has been examining “methods employed by multinational corporations to shift profits offshore”.

Some large firms in the US have come under fire for their reluctance to repatriate their foreign earnings as they could face a top tax rate of 35%.

US corporation tax is one of the highest in the world at 35%. However, companies typically pay far less, thanks to numerous deductions and exemptions.

But rather than merely being a matter of taxation in the US, this is a subject of global importance – especially when multinational companies are concerned, according to senior officials on both sides of the Atlantic.

In its report into Apple, The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations chairman Carl Levin said: “Apple wasn’t satisfied with shifting its profits to a low-tax offshore tax haven.

“Apple sought the Holy Grail of tax avoidance. It has created offshore entities holding tens of billions of dollars, while claiming to be tax resident nowhere.”

Committee member John McCain said: “Apple claims to be the largest US corporate taxpayer, but by sheer size and scale, it is also among America’s largest tax avoiders.”

Apple also drew criticism three weeks ago when it sold £11.2 billion in bonds to raise cash to fund payouts to shareholders, rather than repatriating some of its cash reserves, which would be taxed in the US.

The move saved the company an estimated £6.05 billion in taxes- and the deal was done purely to save the company paying US taxes. Tax avoidance- tax evasion- you pays your money you takes your choice?