Apple Europe has agreed to pay an additional $186 million, including interest on unpaid tax, after an “extensive audit” by HM Revenue and Customs, the U.K. government department responsible for the collection of taxes.
The “corporate income tax adjustment” in the United Kingdom covers the years through September 2015, and reflects Apple’s “increased activity” during that period. The adjustment will be factored into future tax bills paid by Apple.
In a statement, Apple said that, “We know the important role that tax payments play in society. Apple pays all that we owe according to tax laws and local customs in the countries where we operate. As a multinational business and the largest taxpayer in the world, Apple is regularly audited by tax authorities around the world. HMRC recently concluded a multiyear audit of our UK accounts and the settlement we reached with HMRC is reflected in our recently filed accounts.”
In the United Kingdom, Apple operates two subsidiaries: Apple Retail U.K. Ltd, which runs Apple’s brick and mortar and online stores, and Apple Europe Ltd, which operates the back office functions, sales support and marketing.
Apple’s European tax troubles
Apple has repeatedly come under fire, particularly in Europe, for its tax avoidance practices. Most notably, it was handed a $17.6 billion tax bill by the European Commission in 2016, after an investigation alleged that Apple paid the equivalent of as little as 0.005 percent on all European profits in the year 2014.
Apple has always maintained that it pays every cent that it owes.