Apple Didgeridon’t Pay Their Australian Taxes, Investigators Claim

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Apple has been accused of shifting close to $8.1 billion in untaxed profits from its Australian operations to Ireland over the past ten years.

An investigation by the Australian Financial Review got hold of a decade’s worth of financial accounts for the Irish-based “Apple Sales International” — which supposedly show how Apple shifted untaxed profits from Australia to Ireland, where the company pays just 0.7% tax on its turnover.

In 2013, Apple recorded pre-tax earnings of just Aus$88.5 million after sending an estimated Aus$2 billion in Australian sales to Ireland — via Singapore.

Last year Apple was grilled by the U.S. Senate on “extensive tax-avoidance strategies” after allegedly sidestepping billions of dollars each year on its worldwide tax bill.

Apple is, of course, far from the only global company to be accused of similar practices.

Ahead of a recent G20 finance ministers meeting in Sydney — designed to crack down on international tax avoidance — IMF chief Christine Lagarde said that accounting for global digital businesses like Apple and Google pose a “big ongoing problem and process”.

  • lucascott

    Let’s rewrite this with less hit whoring etc.

    Australian laws allow companies Apple to avoid paying billions in taxes.

    Yep that’s right. The issue isn’t Apple, it’s the local laws.

  • http://www.designstrategies.com Len Williams

    This crud is just ridiculous. None of what Apple is doing is any different from what other major corporations have been doing for decades and decades (i.e. taking advantage of every single tax break they can within the law). What the Australian officials are upset about is that Apple ISN’T breaking any laws, so they have no legal way at this time to get their hands on more of Apple’s cash. Like all politicians, they want to extract all the money the laws will allow out of companies and individuals. It is the job of the politicians to write and get passed taxation laws, and it’s the job of every accountant to try to work around those laws to save their clients money. To complain about Apple doing something that isn’t illegal is abhorrent. Rewrite and pass the local laws. When they’re in force, ALL companies, including Apple will have to comply. Until the laws are in place, shut the hell up and quit trying to make it look like Apple is some evil corporation “robbing” the country.
    I own and run a business. You bet your boots I have my finance department and accounting firm get me every tax break that’s possible within the law. The government already gets about 30% of the profit I make — and they want MORE.
    Every individual and company on the planet that turns in a tax return attempts to take every deduction and reduction possible, so why should Apple be held to a different standard?

About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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