Apple did not pay a single penny in corporation tax in the UK last year, according to the latest financial filings in the country.
Already courting controversy in their native US for similar reasons, the Cupertino company’s British subsidiaries Apple (UK), Apple Europe and Apple Retail UK made pre-tax profits of £68m in the year ending September 2012, making tax deductions from share schemes of £27.7m, clearing its liabilities.
By comparison, Apple paid £11.4m in corporate tax in 2011, from an operating profit of £60.4m.
Similar tax avoidance techniques by other tech giants including Amazon and Google have recently led to the Public Accounts committee requesting the government reassess the tax loopholes that allow giant companies to scrimp on their owed tax payments. In this age of austerity, these companies’ tax avoidance techniques seems to rub salt into the wounds of the hard up customers buying their products.
In the US Apple has also been called out by the Senate for creating “offshore entities holding tens of billions of dollars while claiming to be tax resident nowhere”. By holding the company’s intellectual property rights in Ireland, the company is thought to avoid some $10bn in US taxes every year.
Shrewd accountancy work by Apple? Nah – they were probably just holding the tax form wrong.