Jersey Tax Haven: Apple Used Channel Island To Avoid US Taxes

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But by setting up a perfectly legal zero percent corporate tax rate structure in the Isle of Jersey, a BBC analysis found that with Apple making $44.7 billion in 2017 foreign profits outside the USA, the company only paid $1.65 billion, or 4 percent, in foreign taxes.

"US multinational firms are the global grandmasters of tax avoidance schemes that deplete not just USA tax collection but the tax collection of most every large economy in the world", former corporate tax adviser Edward Kleinbard was quoted as saying by the NYT.

The documents, obtained by German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, were reviewed by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), along with a number of publications, including the New York Times and the Guardian.

"We have taken an interest in getting to know how Apple is organised now and we did that before the publication of the Paradise papers", Vestager said.

In Apple's case, it held its cash in Ireland to pay a much smaller tax rate than the 35 percent level in the US.

ABC's Four Corners on Monday night revealed Nike sold around $500 million of sportswear in Australia past year, but recorded profits of just 2 per cent of its sales, therefore paying just $4.5 million in tax.

Apple moved two of its subsidiaries from Ireland to Jersey in order to minimise its tax liabilities following the EU-led crackdown on low-tax Ireland, according to the latest releases from the so-called "Paradise Papers".

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The Paradise Papers records come from the internal files of offshore law firm Appleby and corporate services provider Estera. "Since then all of Apple's Irish operations have been conducted through Irish resident companies", the spokesman said.

Apple is one of many United States technology companies that have benefited from stashing cash overseas.

It said: "A coordinated legislative effort internationally will remove the current tug of war between countries over tax payments and ensure certainty of law for taxpayers". "We've paid over $35bn in corporate income taxes over the past three years, plus billions of dollars more in property tax, payroll tax, sales tax and Vat", it said.

"I have been asking for an update on the arrangement made by Apple, the recent way they have been organized, in order to get the feeling whether or not this is in accordance with our European rules but that remains to be seen", Vestager told a news briefing at an global tech summit in Lisbon.

Apple's offshore cash holdings [Chart: courtesy of SEC Filings] At the time lawmakers in Ireland (where Apple now keeps nearly all of its money) were cracking down on multinationals operating Irish subsidiaries for tax purposes, including Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, other tech companies and drugmakers like Abbott Laboratories.

The cache of 13.4 million secret documents came largely from Appleby, a Bermuda-based law firm that helps businesses and wealthy individuals find tax shelters.