Apple issues ‘the facts’ about its tax payments

After the New York Times reported that Apple is stashing much of its cash hoard on the small island of Jersey, which typically doesn’t tax corporate income, Apple has issued a statement on its tax payments, as follows:

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Apple believes every company has a responsibility to pay its taxes, and as the largest taxpayer in the world, Apple pays every dollar it owes in every country around the world. We’re proud of the economic contributions we make to the countries and communities where we do business.

We’re presenting the facts on this page in response to reporting by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. Among the inaccuracies in these reports:

  • The changes Apple made to its corporate structure in 2015 were specially designed to preserve its tax payments to the United States, not to reduce its taxes anywhere else. No operations or investments were moved from Ireland.
  • Far from being “untouched by the United States,” Apple pays billions of dollars in taxes to the US at the statutory 35 percent rate on investment income from its overseas cash.
  • Apple’s effective tax rate on foreign earnings is 21 percent — a figure easily calculated from public filings. This rate has been consistent for many years.
  • Last month, in response to questions from the ICIJ, the New York Times and others, Apple provided the following 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 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.

Under the current international tax system, profits are taxed based on where the value is created. The taxes Apple pays to countries around the world are based on that principle. The vast majority of the value in our products is indisputably created in the United States — where we do our design, development, engineering work and much more — so the majority of our taxes are owed to the US.

When Ireland changed its tax laws in 2015, we complied by changing the residency of our Irish subsidiaries and we informed Ireland, the European Commission and the United States. The changes we made did not reduce our tax payments in any country. In fact, our payments to Ireland increased significantly and over the last three years we’ve paid $1.5 billion in tax there — 7 percent of all corporate income taxes paid in that country. Our changes also ensured that our tax obligation to the United States was not reduced.

We understand that some would like to change the tax system so multinationals’ taxes are spread differently across the countries where they operate, and we know that reasonable people can have different views about how this should work in the future. At Apple we follow the laws, and if the system changes we will comply. We strongly support efforts from the global community toward comprehensive international tax reform and a far simpler system, and we will continue to advocate for that.

Apple say it’s the largest taxpayer in the world, paying over $35 billion in corporate income taxes in the last three years. Apple pays taxes in every country where we sell our products. You can read more of Apple’s statement by clicking here.