Tech: Apple’s new tax haven revealed
Apple has “found a new shelter for its profits”: a tiny island in the English Channel, said Jesse Drucker and Simon Bowers in The New York Times. After the European Commission pressured Ireland in 2013 to end the largely tax-free status Apple’s subsidiaries had there, the tech giant responded by moving much of its $128 billion in offshore cash from Ireland to the isle of Jersey, which “typically does not tax corporate income.” The revelation was included in a “cache of secret corporate records” leaked this week. Dubbed the Paradise Papers, the documents are believed to have come from a Bermuda law firm catering to “businesses and the wealthy elite.”
In light of the leak, the European competition commissioner said she will take “another look at Apple’s tax affairs,” said Aliya Ram and Rochelle Toplensky in the Financial Times. Margrethe Vestager this week assailed Apple and other tech companies for undermining democracy and permitting “fear and greed to drive anticompetitive behavior.” Vestager had previously ruled Ireland’s “sweetheart” deal with Apple illegal and ordered Dublin to collect $14.5 billion in back taxes. Although the Paradise Papers disclosure provides significant impetus for her case, Vestager said, she had “raised questions” around Apple’s tax structure before the leak.