Apple paying less than 2% tax on overseas profits in the billions

Apple paying less than 2% tax on overseas profits in the billionsApple is paying less than 2% tax on its profits from overseas sales which are thought to be in the region of 37 billion dollars. The details were revealed in Apple’s 10K filing which was presented to the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The news comes for UK newspaper The Guardian

The iPhone and iPad maker paid $713m (£445m) in overseas corporation tax on foreign profits of $36.87bn (£23bn) in the year to the end of September. That translates as a tax rate of 1.9%, compared to a headline corporation tax rate of 35% in the US and 24% in the UK.

The details were revealed in Apple's 10K filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Apple has not broken any laws by arranging its tax payments this way, but it is likely to reignite debate about the astonishingly small amount of tax US multinationals pay in the UK.

Google, Amazon and Starbucks have also been in the news lately for similar low tax payments in the UK and are set to appear before the Commons public accounts committee later today. They will be given an opportunity to explain why they don’t pay the proper levels of tax. According to the report, Prime Minister David Cameron is not happy with the current situation which allows US companies to pay such low tax rates in the UK. Now that Apple is part of the same picture, we are sure that this is going to get a lot more coverage.

Source: The Guardian


UK editor at iMore, mobile technology lover and air conditioning design engineer.

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There are 26 comments. Add yours.

jlb21 says:

Think if how much help they could do with disaster relief if they did pay 35%......

Rob White says:

Oh you are sure to be attacked mercilessly for that assumption. The Apple purists here will say how dare you! Apple is entitled to their money!

When Steve Jobs returned in 97 his 1st action was to immediately cease Apple's charitable activities. Tim Cook has started to reverse that policy. But they have much further to go. And let's not even begin the discussion on corporations avoiding tax through questionable means.

It's often quite amusing to see a company like Apple, that is very supportive of many liberal cause célèbre policies, be so greedy & secretive with their own profits. They aren't alone in that practice by the way. It's just an interesting observation that very rich liberal executives like Steve Jobs was don't practice what they preach.

walkingsad says:

wow Wal-Mart isn't any better but at least they put the savings on to you

afazel says:

Think how much they could do for disaster relief if they were able to keep their tax at 2% and gave the other 33% directly to the relief effort.

BradM73 says:

Pease explain to me and the rest of us why it should be Apple's responsibility to save everyone from hurricanes or provide disaster relief?

eprisencc says:

This is the kind of economic patriotism we love to see from our American corporations . . . not.

pilotnh says:

I don't get why people are so upset about this. They are obviously operating within the law. So, the problem isn't Apple (or any corporation in a similar situation). You can dislike the tax laws. You can't be mad at a company following the law. They're job is to generate as much profit as possible while following the existing laws.

AZMerf says:

People are upset because it's no coincidence that the same folks that are benefiting from these "laws" are the same ones who write the laws. And they are loopholes in the way current law is written that allows them to pay lower rates. Why do you think these guys have lobbyists? And, I love it when these same guys complain about how corporate income taxes are too high in the States when clearly nobody pays those rates. It's my one trepidation about buying Apple products.

PilotPhil81 says:

Good for apple. Not giving more money for stupid government spending.

KCMike says:

How much do they pay in the US? Even less?

dloveprod says:

I wonder what the deficit would be like if none of these corporation had been dodging taxes over the past say 50 years.

BradM73 says:

You know? It's ignorant comments like these that prove to me day in and day out that there are still a majority of ignorant voters who believe in things like this. Sure, there may have been some businesses over the years that have hidden profits and literally "dodged" or evaded tax laws, but the vast majority of businesses do follow the law, but believe me, as a business owner, I constantly look for loopholes and other ways I'd decreasing my tax burden. I'm sick of being double and triple taxed, and I'd love to be given tax incentives like the big businesses get. Look, cities and states, and even the federal government, gives big businesses tax incentives. It will never stop. Why?? Because when you give businesses incentives to go to a certain place to do business, whether it's manufacturing or retail or whatever, they're going to employ people, sell products, manufacture goods, all of which are taxed. This in turn increases both the local and federal tax base, creating an increase in tax revenue. Is good for business, good for workers, and good for the government too. And sure, big businesses will always looks for ways of lessening their tax burden, because in order to stay in business, they need money and need to pay their employees, pay their bills, etc, and so they're most likely to go where ever taxes are the lowest.

PilotPhil81 says:

I wander what the deficit would be like is Obama was not elected. Probably a lot lower the 16 trillion.

TekNiKal#AC says:

The deficit would be the same. The government would find more ways to spend the tax revenue instead of returning unused portions back to taxpayers or even reducing the tax rate. Don't fool yourself with thoughts of gumballs and fairy dust when you talk about our US government.

Ferny says:

Better thee than me? All the fine altruists here pay there fair share and don't take any deductions I'm sure since that would make them no better than Apple. Too bad they would have to pay tax on that money if they brought it back to the US. Because of that, the money will stay overseas instead of being invested here.

Snownation says:

This is a good explanation on how corporations "dodge" tax.
Everything is legal though. Morally, that's another story and it's for you to decide.

pilotnh says:

Do you pay one penny more than you have to on April 15th? Why should Apple?

PilotPhil81 says:

How the hell is it not moral. What's not moral is Obama raising taxes on the middle class.

stephen007 says:

From a philosophical point of view it should be pointed out that corporations do not pay taxes. It's their customers that pay taxes. So whatever your view on tax law, the sentiment that Apple should pay more really translates into "I think I and other Apple customers should pay more". Any taxes are going to be passed on to the corporation's customers.

pilotnh says:

Exactly. And instead of these people bitchin' that Apple doesn't pay enough taxes, they'll be bitchin' that they have to pay twice as much for an iPhone.

dawggg63 says:

Probably the smartest thing I've seen posted on this forum! Corporations set their prices to achieve a profit on AFTER tax revenues. An increase in corporate tax rates is nothing but a hidden tax on the consumer.

wormeyman says:

Americans aren't too happy with how little they pay in the US either!