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Apple sidestepped a 2013 crackdown on its controversial Irish tax structure by moving the majority of its offshore cash holdings to the small island of Jersey, a self-governed territory with loose ties to the United Kingdom, according to leaked financial documents obtained by The New York Times and BBC.

jersey.jpg
The island of Jersey via its Chamber of Commerce

The so-called Paradise Papers, primarily sourced from offshore tax law firm Appleby, reveal that Apple's two key Irish subsidiaries were managed from Appleby's office in Jersey from 2015 until early 2016. Apple chose Jersey after exploring several potential tax havens, such as Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.

Apple said it made regulators in the United States and Ireland, and the European Commission, aware about the reorganization of its Irish subsidiaries, and added that the changes haven't reduced its tax bill.

"The changes we made did not reduce our tax payments in any country," an Apple spokesperson told The New York Times. "At Apple we follow the laws, and if the system changes we will comply. We strongly support efforts from the global community toward comprehensive international tax reform and a far simpler system."

Apple turned to Jersey after European officials began to crack down on the so-called "Double Irish" tax structure Apple had exploited.

The "Double Irish" tax loophole allows for multinational corporations to funnel revenue through an Irish subsidiary, which in turn sends that money to another Irish subsidiary that has residency in a tax haven. In a nutshell, the practice has enabled Apple to save billions of dollars in taxes around the world.

The European Commission found Apple paid between 0.005 percent and 1 percent in taxes in Ireland from 2003 through 2014, compared to the country's headline 12.5 percent corporate tax rate. Apple CEO Tim Cook said the Commission's ruling against Apple was "total political crap" and that the tax rates were a "false number."

When questioned by the United States Senate investigative subcommittee in 2013, Cook said "we pay all the taxes we owe." He added that Apple doesn't "stash money on some Caribbean island."

While that was true at the time, it's clear Apple was exploring similar options as part of its tax minimization efforts.

"This is how it usually works: You close one tax shelter, and something else opens up," said Reuven Avi-Yonah, director of the international tax program at the University of Michigan Law School. "It just goes on endlessly."

Cook has made it clear that Apple is willing to repatriate some of its offshore cash holdings into the United States, but he recently said tax reform is "sorely needed" first. U.S. President Donald Trump has proposed lowering the headline corporate tax rate to 20 percent, down from 35 percent currently.

Update: Apple this afternoon shared a press release entitled "The facts about Apple's tax payments," which has been written in response to today's reports. Apple says there are several inaccuracies being circulated and it is aiming to correct them.
"The debate over Apple's taxes is not about how much we owe but where we owe it. As the largest taxpayer in the world we've paid over $35 billion in corporate income taxes over the past three years, plus billions of dollars more in property tax, payroll tax, sales tax and VAT. 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.

Under the current international tax system, profits are taxed based on where the value is created. The taxes Apple pays to countries around the world are based on that principle. The vast majority of the value in our products is indisputably created in the United States -- where we do our design, development, engineering work and much more -- so the majority of our taxes are owed to the US.

When Ireland changed its tax laws in 2015, we complied by changing the residency of our Irish subsidiaries and we informed Ireland, the European Commission and the United States. The changes we made did not reduce our tax payments in any country. In fact, our payments to Ireland increased significantly and over the last three years we've paid $1.5 billion in tax there -- 7 percent of all corporate income taxes paid in that country. Our changes also ensured that our tax obligation to the United States was not reduced.

We understand that some would like to change the tax system so multinationals' taxes are spread differently across the countries where they operate, and we know that reasonable people can have different views about how this should work in the future. At Apple we follow the laws, and if the system changes we will comply. We strongly support efforts from the global community toward comprehensive international tax reform and a far simpler system, and we will continue to advocate for that."
The release also provides details Apple has reiterated multiple times in the past, such as its position as the largest taxpayer in the world and the fact that it holds overseas cash because that's where the majority of its products are sold. Apple also again says that comprehensive international tax reform "is essential" and that it continues to advocate for a simplification of the tax code.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Article Link: Apple Reportedly Shifted Billions of Dollars to Small Island of Jersey Amid Tax Crackdown [Updated]
 
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Z400Racer37

macrumors 6502a
Feb 7, 2011
709
1,661
Politicians are so stupid. Stop demonizing and penalizing companies for the sin of engaging in a productive, and even worse, profitable action, and then expecting to keep the fruits of these productive efforts.

On one hand, people say they have a fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders to maximize value, and on the other, they say that Apple owes the people something, because Apple produced and sold a value, and the people didn't.

And they hold both views with perfect comfort. Ridiculous.
 

gigapocket1

macrumors 68000
Mar 15, 2009
1,829
1,186
20% is still a lot more than 1% lol..
[doublepost=1509998669][/doublepost]America just needs to do a 1 day tax holiday.. Even at 5%.. companies would move loads of cash over to the United States..
 

Kabeyun

macrumors 68040
Mar 27, 2004
3,085
5,809
Eastern USA
Gotta say that this activity is just one of a myriad of examples of something that is technically legal but doesn’t seem right. Micro-trading. Credit stock swaps. Shell corporaions. The 2008 crash is a case study in such stuff. It’s all so far beyond the common man and how the market was meant to serve us. And as Larry the Liquidator said in Other People’s Money, “They can pass all the laws they want. All they can do is change the rules. They can never stop the game. I don’t go away. I adapt.”
 

SteveW928

macrumors 68000
May 28, 2010
1,787
1,346
Victoria, B.C. Canada
Can you blame them? I'd do the same.

Sure, but I wouldn't then turn around and mislead/lie about it for PR reasons.

I blame them. If companies paid fair taxes then western democracies wouldn’t be on their knees with debt.

They are paying their fair share... according to the messed up tax laws. And Western democracies are 'on their knees with debt' because they are corrupt and the people aren't holding them accountable (even though they have the mechanism to do so).
 

Plutonius

macrumors G3
Feb 22, 2003
8,800
7,995
New Hampshire, USA
I blame them. If companies paid fair taxes then western democracies wouldn’t be on their knees with debt. Just think of it this way; every $1 Apple or Google or Amazon hoards in these accounts is $1 more that you and your fellow taxpayers have to find every year...

Countries could get twice as much money and still be in debt. It's a spending problem by these countries.
 

barkomatic

macrumors 601
Aug 8, 2008
4,206
2,148
Manhattan
Politicians are so stupid. Stop demonizing and penalizing companies for the sin of engaging in a productive, and even worse, profitable action, and then expecting to keep the fruits of these productive efforts.

On one hand, people say they have a fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders to maximize value, and on the other, they say that Apple owes the people something, because Apple produced and sold a value, and the people didn't.

And they hold both views with perfect comfort. Ridiculous.

Apple would not exist were it not for the opportunity and skill they found in the United States. I pay one third of my salary in taxes so there is absolutely no reason Apple can't pay even 15%.
 

shplock

macrumors 6502a
Dec 25, 2015
538
354
Somewhere in a Galaxy far far away
Gotta say that this activity is just one of a myriad of examples of something that is technically legal but doesn’t seem right. Micro-trading. Credit stock swaps. Shell corporaions. The 2008 crash is a case study in such stuff. It’s all so far beyond the common man and how the market was meant to serve us. And as Larry the Liquidator said in Other People’s Money, “They can pass all the laws they want. All they can do is change the rules. They can never stop the game. I don’t go away. I adapt.”

My answer to that is simple...Break the game! Then they can adapt as much as they want and it still means they lose.
Or to put it another way..do as Heath Ledger's Joker did in Batman and turn systems on themselves only without the death and violence.
 
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calzon65

macrumors 6502a
Jul 16, 2008
922
3,511
Apple is using the law, if lawmakers are not smart enough to create comprehensive tax laws, it's their fault not Apple's, however ...

Apple loves to paint itself as a "champion of goodness", a moral, caring, sensitive company ... in reality, they are as greedy and crafty as any other company, but they have the world convinced otherwise. Case in point, ask a young person who is the more evil/greedy company, Apple or Exxon, Apple or IBM, or Apple or Boeing. I bet every time the person would say Apple is not a greedy company, they have all those young, cool, hip, long hair, tattooed employees at their stores who wear cool Apple t-shirts and say dude a lot.

It's all crap, Apple price gouges its customers for a much as they can get away with and then they spend millions on tax lawyers and accountants to exploit every loophole they can find. All this while their public relations department convinces the world of their so-called altruism.
 

deany

macrumors 68030
Sep 16, 2012
2,873
2,088
North Wales
Apple is using the law, if lawmakers are not smart enough to create comprehensive tax laws, it's their fault not Apple's, however ...

Apple loves to paint itself as a "champion of goodness", a moral, caring, sensitive company ... in reality, they are as greedy and crafty as any other company, but they have the world convinced otherwise. Case in point, ask a young person who is the more evil/greedy company Apple or Exxon ... or maybe Apple of IBM ... or maybe Apple or Boeing. I bet every time the person would say Apple is the less greedy caring company ... which is a total load of garbage. Apple price gouges its customers for a much as they can get away with and then they spend millions on tax lawyers and accountants to exploit every loophole they can find while their public relations department convinces the world of their so-called altruism.

They should be setting an example of how to do things Right. They don't deserve to be held is such reverence.
 
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