Apple moved offshore funds to Jersey after Irish tax action

The debate is not about how much we owe but where we owe it, says Apple
The debate is not about how much we owe but where we owe it, says Apple

Tech giant Apple moved offshore funds to the Channel Islands after a crackdown on tax laws in Ireland, according to reports.

The company is alleged to have rearranged its affairs, moving the firm holding most of its untaxed overseas cash to Jersey, after changes were made to controversial Irish tax practices, the BBC and Guardian said.

The claims are the latest to emerge from the Paradise Papers leak, which has seen major companies and public figures linked in reports to secretive overseas arrangements. There is no suggestion that those involved acted illegally.

Apple said the new structure did not reduce tax payments in any country and “ensured that our tax obligation to the United States was not reduced”.

The company said in a statement: “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 dollars 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.”

Until 2014, Apple channelled sales outside of America through Irish companies, which kept taxes low.

But the arrangement was the subject of an investigation by the EU Commission and resulted in a crackdown on practices in Ireland.

Paradise Papers documents show Apple’s two key Irish subsidiaries, Apple Operations International and Apple Sales International, were managed by Bermuda-based legal firm Appleby’s office in Jersey from the start of 2015 until early 2016, the BBC said.