According to what have become known as the Paradise Papers, a report released by offshore tax specialists Appleby, Apple moved two key Irish subsidiaries to Jersey during 2015 and 2016. Apple settled for this location after also considering the Cayman Islands and Bermuda.
This happened after European officials started cracking down on Apple’s ‘Double Irish’ tax structure. Apple insisted this had not reduced its tax liabilities or the money it paid as a result.
With the Double Irish tax loophole, Apple funnelled income via an Irish subsidiary, which then sent that money to a second Irish subsidiary with offices in a tax haven. According to the European Commission, Apple paid as little as 0.005% in taxes in Ireland between 2003 and 2014.
At the time, Apple CEO Tim Cook called these claims ‘total political crap’, adding that his company doesn’t ‘stash money on some Caribbean Island.’
Cook recently also said that U.S. tax reform was ‘sorely needed’.
In a press release yesterday afternoon, Apple commented on these reports, saying that they contained several inaccuracies. The company further stated that the debate over its taxes was not about how much it owed, but where it was owed.
When Ireland approved new tax laws in 2015, Apple did move the residency of its Irish subsidiaries elsewhere, but it informed the U.S., the EU and Ireland about this decision, the statement says.
In the press release, Apple emphasised that the bulk of its taxes are owed to the United States, because that is where most of its development, design and engineering work is carried out.
The release also makes it very clear that Apple is the world’s biggest tax payer, and that the only reason it holds overseas cash is because that’s where it sells the bulk of its products.
The statement ends by once again calling for wide-ranging international tax reform.