Apple Makes $9.5B USD in Britain, Pays Only 0.16% in Taxes; Google Also Targeted
April 10, 2012 5:46 PM
comment(s) - last by
Apple is accused of hording money and dodging taxes.
Corporate tax-dodging: not just a U.S. problem
In America Fortune 500 corporations pay 12.1 percent in taxes, on average, on their profits [
] versus the default rate of 34 to 35 percent that any small-to-midsize business (SMB) making over $335,000 USD per year in profit must pay. With corporate tax rates plummeting in half over the last three decades, individuals and SMBs in America are increasingly left to shoulder the difference.
The crippling inequality was highlighted in 2011 when General Electric Corp. (
) pocketed $14B USD in profit,
a "generous" $3B USD tax refund
from the federal government. GE was a key donor to U.S. President Barack Obama and was repaid by its
CEO being anointed head of America's "Council on Jobs"
which helps advise Congress on corporate tax policy.
I. Apple Pays Virtually No Taxes in Britain, While it Makes Billions
However, it's important to remember the U.S. isn't the only country struggling with the increasingly parasitic nature of politically active corporations. Britain is currently grappling with similar issues.
American and domestic companies in Britain and other European Union states have been cleverly positioning their regional headquarters in the handful of member states with the lowest corporate tax rates.
For example Apple, Inc. (
) made an estimated £6B ($9.50B USD) in Britain last year, but paid only £10M ($15.8M USD) in taxes. That astounding figure, which has many British natives grumbling, comes thanks to the British tax code's rule that largely exempts companies based in Ireland from paying British taxes.
Apple has installed its regional headquarters in Cork, Republic of Ireland. Thus it enjoys the low Irish 12.5 percent tax rate (which the British newspapers consider "ultra-low", but is ironically in line with the aforementioned current effective American rate for Fortune 500 firms), versus the 24 percent it would pay in Britain.
The Irish branch of Apple -- a subsidiary itself -- runs a series of shell companies that log British sales in "tax haven" regions like Ireland or the British Virgin Islands despite the fact that the physical point of sales is in Britain. Apple Retail UK Ltd -- one of these shell companies -- made a reported £500M ($791.8M USD) in 2010, but only paid £3.79M ($6.0M USD) in taxes.
Experts cited in
The Daily Mail
estimate that of the $99.8B USD (£63B) Apple made globally in 2011, 10 percent of it came from the UK.
Apple's loyal legion dutifully lines up for the iPad launch in London. Apple is estimated to have to have only paid $15M USD in UK taxes, despite earning almost $10B USD from the island nation. [Image Source: Tim Ferguson/silicon.com]
This figure is hinted at in Apple's U.S. tax filings. While Apple pays well above the current hyper-evasive rate of the Fortune 500, it only paid an effective rate of 25.3 percent -- below the supposed tax rate of 35 percent. Apple credits this good fortune to "undistributed foreign earnings", which it plans to hold "indefinitely". Such commentary might draw greater scrutiny by auditors in the U.S., except that Apple wisely based its U.S. financial operations in Nevada -- a state known for a lax approach to tax enforcement.
Apple, which recently announced a
dividend for shareholders
hoarding $97.6B USD (£60B) in cash
-- more money than the entire gross domestic product of Serbia. Valued at $590B USD (£370B), Apple is the world's most valuable company, and some experts it expect it to soon become the world's first company to be valued at a trillion USD.
The situation for Apple could soon be changing -- the
U.S. Internal Revenue Service
(IRS), has reportedly audited the company's 2007 to 2009 figures and has "suggested" "certain adjustments". Those adjustments could be in the form of forcing Apple to pay millions in unpaid taxes -- either to
Britain's HM Revenue & Customs
or to the U.S. IRS.
II. Apple is Not Alone, U.S. Companies Enjoying Field Day of Tax Evasion
While Apple draws the brunt of the scrutiny given that as the world's largest and most valuable corporation it is a beacon of corporatism, other American companies are following in a similar line.
Amazon.com, Inc. (
) has placed its headquarters in the tiny European Union nation of Luxembourg -- the same nation where deceased North Korean tyrant Kim Jong Il reportedly sheltered his $4B USD fortune. Google Inc. (
) -- makers of the world's most used smartphone operating system and the world's most used search engine -- based itself in Ireland and has subsidiaries in the Caribbean and Luxembourg for more tax dodging gains.
The Daily Mail
that this scheme -- which many would call "tax dodging" -- is necessary in today's corporate atmosphere, as responsibility to shareholders. States a Google spokesperson, "We have an obligation to our shareholders to set up a tax-efficient structure, and our present structure is compliant with the tax rules in all the countries where we operate."
Google also successfully dodged British taxes. [Image Source: Main Device]
In the U.S., Britain, and other wealthy nation states, change over such inequity is slow coming. After all, increasingly corporations are responsible of paying federal candidates' way into office -- regardless of their political affiliation. In office, these candidates inevitably look to serve their masters -- not the populous, but the corporations.
University of Kansas
School of Business
[PDF] found that $1 given to a federal politician was worth $243 USD of tax breaks, if you contributed over $1M USD.
The Daily Mail
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: Constitutional Amendment Flat Tax Time!
4/10/2012 9:07:08 PM
Who said Congress created loopholes?
The lobbying groups actually write the laws just the way they want them and hand them over to whatever party they are paying. Mostly on the Right due to businesses trending GOP, but plenty as well on the Left. You actually think the dipshiats you elect write those 5000 pages laws?
"People Don't Respect Confidentiality in This Industry" -- Sony Computer Entertainment of America President and CEO Jack Tretton
Update: Apple Announces Dividend for Q4, $10B Share Repurchase for 2013; Closes Above $600
March 19, 2012, 5:12 PM
Apple CEO Tim Cook: We Have More Money Than We Need
February 24, 2012, 8:13 AM
GE: $14B USD Profits, Pays No Taxes For Last Year, Gets $3.2B Tax Benefit
March 25, 2011, 3:22 PM
Obama Gives Intel CEO a Spot on Jobs Council
February 18, 2011, 2:38 PM
Paypal Takes Potshot at Apple Pay, Mentioning iCloud Breach in New Ad
September 16, 2014, 7:24 AM
Quick Note: New "Windows" Branding for Microsoft's Smartphones is Leaked
September 15, 2014, 2:00 PM
Sony Abandons Android Upgrade Support for Year Old Xperia and 3 Others
September 15, 2014, 11:07 AM
Apple Racked Up 4 Million iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus Pre-orders Within 24 Hours
September 15, 2014, 9:54 AM
Despite Massive Failure of Apple Store Website, "Record Number" of iPhone 6 Pre-orders Received
September 12, 2014, 1:19 PM
Quick Note: Motorola Set to Release Unlocked, “Pure Edition” of Second Gen Moto X
September 12, 2014, 12:37 PM
Most Popular Articles
Dell Announces "World's Thinnest" Tablet: The Venue 8 7000 Series
September 11, 2014, 8:51 AM
Apple Announces Its Smartwatch: The $349 Apple Watch
September 9, 2014, 2:09 PM
Quick Note: Buy an Xbox One Sept 7-13, Get a Free Game
September 4, 2014, 10:42 AM
Quick Note: Microsoft to Ditch Windows Phone, Nokia Branding
September 10, 2014, 2:14 PM
Apple Announces 4.7" iPhone 6, 5.5" iPhone 6 Plus
September 9, 2014, 1:45 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
Tesla vs. BMW: Who Has the Safer EV?
Feb 1, 2014, 2:56 PM
Justice Leaks Details of Next HTC One Two Flagship Phone
Dec 5, 2013, 4:04 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information