Protestors Criticize Apple For Using Offshore Tax Shelters

(Credit: Ellen Huet/The SF Chronicle)

(Credit: Ellen Huet/The SF Chronicle)

From complaints about the use of shuttle buses in San Francisco, to Apple’s own security guards protesting for better pay, the tech industry in San Francisco has come under increased fire in the last few years.

The latest protest took place on Tuesday, with a crowd gathered at Apple’s Union Square store in San Francisco, dressed as Apple Store workers, to call on the company to pay U.S. taxes on the $102 billion it alleges is held overseas.

“We’re trying to have a little fun on Tax Day and show how Apple’s unpaid tax revenues could help Bay Area infrastructure,” said spokesperson Alfredo Fletes. “We could have done this in Cupertino, but not as many customers would come by — this is partly an education campaign.”

Protestors handed out flyers which directed people to the website www.techcandobetter.org, which appears to aim for better wages for security guards at tech companies.

The whole question of Apple and unpaid taxes has been around for a while. Earlier this year the company was accused of shifting close to $8.1 billion in untaxed profits from its Australian operations to Ireland over the past decade, while Apple has previously been criticized for using an Irish ghost company avoid paying taxes on $78 billion.

Last year it was reported that Irish officials were considering closing the tax loophole that allows companies including Apple to avoid paying higher taxes.

Apple, for its part, has always been adamant that it obeys all corporate tax laws — including the “spirit of the law.”

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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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