The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Apple paid $85 million in Australian income tax last year, despite making almost $8 billion in local revenue according to accounts filed with the corporate regulator.
The Cupertino, California-based company’s tax bill is slightly up from 2014 when it paid $80.3 million. However, it’s a fraction of its overall $7.9 billion sales revenue (up from $6 billion in 2014), says the SMH.
Apple which is still under audit by the Australian Taxation Office, recorded higher sales, marketing and distribution expenses of $435 million and administrative expenses of $30.7 million. Its profit after tax was $123 million, down from $171.5 million the year before.
Some politicians have blasted Apple and other companies for their tax policies. However, in May 2013, Apple CEO Tim Cook released a statement to the U.S. Senate defending the company's tax policies. In part the statement read:
"Apple is likely the largest corporate income tax payer in the US, having paid nearly $6 billion in taxes to the US Treasury in FY2012. These payments account for $1 in every $40 in corporate income tax the US Treasury collected last year. The Company’s FY2012 total US federal cash effective tax rate was approximately 30.5%.1 The Company expects to pay over $7 billion in taxes to the US Treasury in its current fiscal year. In accordance with US law, Apple pays US corporate income taxes on the profits earned from its sales in the US and on the investment income of its Controlled Foreign Corporations (“CFCs”), including the investment earnings of its Irish subsidiary, Apple Operations International (“AOI”).
"Apple does not move its intellectual property into offshore tax havens and use it to sell products back into the US in order to avoid US tax; it does not use revolving loans from foreign subsidiaries to fund its domestic operations; it does not hold money on a Caribbean island; and it does not have a bank account in the Cayman Islands. Apple has substantial foreign cash because it sells the majority of its products outside the US. International operations accounted for 61% of Apple’s revenue last year and two-thirds of its revenue last quarter. These foreign earnings are taxed in the jurisdiction where they are earned (“foreign, post-tax income”).