COMPUTER giant Apple was revealed yesterday to have shifted two overseas subsidiaries from Ireland to Jersey in order to keep dodging tax.
According to a documents in the cache known as the Paradise Papers, the company moved its offshore operations to the Channel Islands tax haven after Ireland began tightening its notoriously lax rules in 2013.
Apple, the world’s most profitable company, has kept many of its subsidiaries in Ireland, but the two that were moved to Jersey are considered important — with one thought to control a £190 billion hoard of cash.
It continues to pay very low rates of tax outside the US, where its headquarters and most of its employees are located, by shifting its profits around. The rate in Jersey is half that of Ireland.
Apple’s previous tax-dodging scheme in Ireland — entirely legal — was described in a US Senate committee report as “a gimmick.”
That, and an EU investigation, forced Ireland to announce tax changes in October 2013. Leaked documents show that Apple began shopping around for a new tax haven early the following year.
Its lawyers asked offshore tax architects Appleby “to provide assistance with and co-ordination of a multijurisdictional project involving the British Virgin Islands, Cayman, Guernsey, Isle of Man and Jersey.”
All are notorious tax havens and all are British “crown dependencies” or overseas territories — meaning that the British government could put a stop to their shady financial schemes if it wanted to.
Apple has alleged that reports of its tax dodging contain “inaccuracies” and claimed to be the biggest corporate taxpayer in the world — which does not prevent it from also being a first-rate tax avoider.