Monday, November 05, 2012

Apple: Tax cheats

The latest company to be caught cheating on its taxes? Apple:

Apple paid an income tax rate of only 1.9 per cent on its earnings outside the US in its latest fiscal year, a regulatory filing by the company shows.

The world's most valuable company paid US$713 million on tax on foreign earnings of $36.8 billion in the fiscal year ended September 29, according to the financial statement filed on October 31.

Its foreign earnings were up 53 per cent from fiscal 2011, when Apple earned $24 billion outside the US and paid income tax of 2.5 per cent on it.

The tech giant's foreign tax rate compares with the general US corporate tax rate of 35 per cent. Apple may pay some income taxes on its profit to the country in which it sells its products, but it minimises them by using various accounting moves to shift profits to countries with low tax rates.

And its not paying taxes in the US on this money either; instead it has parked it all in the Cayman Islands while lobbying for a tax amnesty on repatriated profits, which would allow it to effectively get it all tax free.

These are not the actions of a socially responsible corporation. Instead, they are the actions of a corporate sociopath, and one we should not tolerate or support with our custom.