US tech giant Apple has shifted an estimated $8.9 billion in untaxed profits from its Australian operations to a tax haven structure in Ireland in the last decade, according to an investigation by The Australian Financial Review.
Last year Apple reported pretax earnings in Australia of only $88.5 million after it sent an estimated $2 billion of income from its Australian sales to Ireland via Singapore, where Apple negotiated a secret tax deal in 2009.
The Financial Review obtained 10 years worth of financial accounts for Apple Sales International, the secretive Irish company at the heart of Apple’s international tax arrangements, which reveal the mark-up Apple charges for intellectual property on its products around the world.
The question to be examined is whether this would amount to tax evasion which would be illegal or tax avoidance which would not be illegal.
Jeffrey Newman represents whistleblowers