Apple Accused of Tax Avoidance

Back in May 2013, Tim Cook was an angry many. The chief executive of Apple had been summoned before a United States investigative committee. This committee was looking into allegations that Apple had avoided taxation. The subcommittee carried out its investigation for some time and concluded that Apple was guilty of avoiding taxes that amounted to billions of dollars. The committee further found out that Apple had used Irish subsidiaries and the committee used the term ghost companies to describe them. While at the hearing, a furious Mr. Cook told the committee that Apple always pays its taxes. He further emphasized that the company was not dependent on tax gimmicks. He also said that the company doesn’t stash its money into Caribbean Islands. This was true as Apple had to rely on an island that is located in the English Channel later. Some few months after Mr. Cooks made his case to the subcommittee, the Irish government decided to change the tax structure that had benefited Apple. This forced Apple to look for an alternative where it would store its profits. The New York Times learned that the company enquired with a number of law firms that specialized in offshore tax shelters. This made the company transverse into multiple jurisdictions before it could find its match. Apple now stores its wealth in an Island found in the English Channel known as Jersey. This is an island that is known for failing to tax corporate income.

It has emerged that Apple has accumulated over $128 billion in the last 10 years. This is an income that cannot be touched by the United States nor any other country. This secretive hunt for a tax haven has emerged after a collection of secret corporate records were released by a law firm based in Bermuda known as Appleby. These records were then shared through the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. The documents had been obtained through the help of an investigative newspaper from Germany known as Suddeutsche Zeitung. Other than Apple, other big companies that have been implicated by these documents for the transfer of patent rights and trademarks include Facebook, Allergan, Uber, and Nike. A tax adviser working at the University of Southern California known as Edward D. Kleinbard accuses US companies of being global masters of tax avoidance. He further says that this has resulted in depletion of the United States tax collection. Google and Starbucks are other companies that have been accused of tax avoidance.

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Dil Bole Oberoi