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Apple 'moved funds to Channel Islands' after crackdown

The technology company is alleged to have rearranged its tax affairs in Ireland.

The claims are the latest to emerge from the Paradise Papers, which has linked companies with secretive overseas tax arrangements.
The claims are the latest to emerge from the Paradise Papers, which has linked companies with secretive overseas tax arrangements. PA

Apple moved funds to the Channel Islands after a crackdown on tax laws in Ireland, reports suggest.

The technology company is alleged to have rearranged its tax affairs, after changes were made to controversial Irish tax practices, the BBC and Guardian revealed.

The claims are the latest to emerge from the Paradise Papers, which has linked companies and celebrities with secretive overseas tax arrangements, though there is no suggestion that those involved acted illegally.

Apple claimed on Monday the new structure did not reduce the company's tax payments, and "ensured that our tax obligation to the United States was not reduced".

"The debate over Apple's taxes is not about how much we owe but where we owe it, the company said in a statement.

"As the largest taxpayer in the world we've paid over 35 billion dollars 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."

The company had channelled sales outside of the US through their Irish companies, which benefited from lower taxation. However, the arrangement was investigated by the EU, which resulted in an end to the practice in 2014.

The Paradise Papers leak revealed two Irish subsidiaries, Apple Operations International and Apple Sales International, were managed by Bermuda-based legal firm Appleby's office in Jersey from the start of 2015 until early 2016, the BBC said.

Apple said: "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 dollars in tax there - 7% of all corporate income taxes paid in that country.

"Our changes also ensured that our tax obligation to the United States was not reduced."

It added: "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."

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