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Something Is Rotten In the State Of Apple

Something Is Rotten In the State Of Apple

Figures from ASIC, as reported in AFR today, show Apple Australia coined $6.1 billion in sales revenue last year – a 2% rise – but actually paid less tax than previous years. 

The iPhone maker paid just A$36.4 m in taxes to the ATO in 2013, or a 0.59% rate. 

Despite the company insisting its tax regime is above board, clearly something is rotten in the state of Apple, when international corporations are allowed to funnel local revenues to low tax nations like Ireland, allowing them to duck national tax regimes. 

If Australian and other governments can’t force companies like Apple or Google to stop this practice, and pay their dues, does this mean MNC’s are more powerful than the country in which it operates. 

Possibly.

There’s been a lot of criticism from global governments of MNCs shady tax practices but so far little has been done to stem the tide. The upcoming G20 summit is unlikely to enforce much change, although the issue is on the agenda. 

Apple, this week, announced a record revenue of US$57.6 billion and a net profit of $13.1 billion for Q1 2014, and international sales rising accounting for 63 percent of total sales.
 
It predicts paying a 26.2% tax rate globally for Q2. 

But it seems Apple is also ducking paying tax in its home country, offshoring its cash reserves. 

At the end of Q1 last, the giant held $158.8 billion in cash, up $12 billion from Q4 but most is held offshore, as Apple would have to pay massive amounts of tax to the US government otherwise.  

Only 20% is kept onshore in the US.