Paradise Papers: Apple's secret tax bolthole revealed

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar says that Ireland absolutely supports tax transparency internationally

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar says that Ireland absolutely supports tax transparency internationally

The Times reported that leaked documents suggest that Apple, Inc.'s CEO Tim Cook did not lie in sworn testimony to the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations in May 2013 when he stated that Apple does not "move intellectual property offshore and use it to sell our products back to the United States to avoid taxes".

Until 2014, Apple channelled sales outside of America through Irish companies, which kept taxes low.

The list is long, because in Brazil, the ministers of Economy and Agriculture, Henrique Meirelles and Blairo Maggi, respectively, denied committing irregularity after knowing that their names appeared linked to companies in tax havens.

The Government also shut off the so-called "double Irish", which allowed companies to funnel profits into tax havens.

"We strongly support efforts from the global community toward comprehensive worldwide tax reform and a far simpler system".

Apple said the new structure had not lowered its taxes.

"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".

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The world's most profitable firm has a secretive new structure that would enable it to continue avoiding billions in taxes, the Paradise Papers show.

The German newspaper Sudendeutsch Zeitung gave the New York Times and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists access to the "Paradise Papers", which are secret files that detail alleged corporate strategies of clients of the Appleby Law Firm, based in Bermuda, that specializes in tax shelter schemes.

The documents revealed that Apple approached Appleby, a Bermuda-based law firm known for managing offshore companies.

"The changes we made did not reduce our tax payments in any country", Josh Rosenstock told the Times.

Collectively, the leaked documents paint a picture of a company looking for a jurisdiction where it would pay low or non-existent taxes, and could operate with discretion in a stable political environment unlikely to change suddenly.

Before their move to Jersey, these two subsidiaries had played a key role in helping Apple accumulate and hold $137bn in cash.

As Apple came under pressure in the U.S. and Europe about what was called the "double Irish" scheme it enlisted offshore finance law firm, Appleby, to find a new place to stash cash out of reach of tax collectors, according to reporting. The lawmakers have also proposed another break, permitting multinationals to bring home more than $2.6 trillion stowed offshore at sharply reduced tax rates. 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.

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