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lakeelmoleader.com November 21, 2017


Paradise Papers: How an island and Ireland aided Apple's megaprofits

08 November 2017, 01:09 | Frank Carlson

The tiny island of Jersey in the English Channel has reportedly become a tax haven for companies like Apple. Getty Images

United Kingdom Channel Islands Jersey La Corbiere Point La Corbiere Lighthouse

Apple revamped its overseas subsidiaries to take advantage of tax loopholes on the European island of Jersey after a crackdown on Ireland's loose rules began in 2013, according to The New York Times and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

The documents shared with some media outlets by the US -based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists has exposed tactics the wealthy and powerful have used to avoid taxes.

It alleges that Apple lawyers sent a questionnaire to the offshore finance firm Appleby, seeking to discover what tax havens like the British Virgin Islands, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Mauritius, the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey could do for Apple.

Specifically, the "papers" contain emails from Apple's law firm Baker McKenzie to another firm called Appleby, a 119-year-old company that specializes in setting up and administering offshore tax haven companies.

The statement did not respond to speculation in this and other media outlets involved with the Paradise Papers project, that Apple has used Ireland's capital allowances regime to avoid having to pay tax on massive profits being booked through Ireland.

The findings, part of a leak of documents dubbed the "Paradise Papers", say the company chose the tiny island of Jersey in the English Channel to store its over $250 billion in cash.

Apple said the new structure had not lowered its taxes. For instance, the company said its 2015 corporate reorganization was "specially created to preserve its tax payments to the United States, not to reduce its taxes anywhere else".

Apple paid nearly no tax on earnings of more than $100bn over four years, US Senator Carl Levin and former presidential candidate John McCain claimed, although Apple mounted a strong defence.

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Instead of paying Irish corporation tax of 12.5%, or the U.S. rate of 35%, Apple's avoidance structure helped it reduce its tax rate on profits outside of the United States to the extent that its foreign tax payments rarely amounted to more than 5% of its foreign profits, and in some years dipped below 2%.

In August a year ago, the European Commission concluded that Ireland gave Apple "illegal tax benefits" and levied the firm with an £11.6 billion in back taxes.

It is clear, though, that a large amount of intangible property landed abruptly in Ireland around the period when Apple reorganised its subsidiaries.

The Paradise Papers disclosures come as President Trump's administration seeks to overhaul the US federal tax code.

"That remains to be seen if we will open more cases after the Paradise Papers".

According to the report Apple moved "most" of its $252bn cash hoard to Jersey, which has a corporate tax rate of 0% for foreign companies.

Apple came under pressure in 2013 in the US Senate, when CEO Tim Cook was forced to defend its tax system. You shifted it to three companies that do not pay taxes in Ireland. The Apple back taxes are yet to be reclaimed by the Irish government but the Google bill has been settled, Vestager said.

Now, the new corporate structure of Apple is located near the Normandy coastline.



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