Apple moved a record £720m from the UK to Ireland and paid £97m in UK tax

Apple Cork 40th Anniversary Campus Exterior
Apple Cork 40th Anniversary Campus Exterior (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple moved a record £720 million from the UK to its Irish holding company in 2020.
  • This after it paid £97 million in tax to the UK.

Apple moved £720 million ($999 million) out of its UK businesses and into their Irish holding company across two payments made throughout 2020, according to a new report based on published accounts. That's a huge increase on the £125 million it moved in 2019.

According to a Telegraph report, Apple paid two dividends from its three UK businesses to its Irish company, one of £600 million and another of £120 million. Apple's UK tax bill also rose from £90 million in 2019 to £97 million in 2020.

Apple has three businesses in the UK; Apple Retail UK, Apple UK, and Apple Europe.

The payments represent a significant jump on its 2019 distributions that totalled £125m. Apple Europe, which provides services across the EU, gave no dividends to its parent company in 2019 but paid £495.9m last year.The dividends were paid into Apple's Irish holding company, which operates under its main California business. It is understood that the dividends are paid after incurring UK tax.

This comes amid calls for a new global tax framework that will see international companies be charged the same amount of tax no matter where they are. Apple has long made a habit of moving money from European sales through Ireland due to its relatively low tax rate — something the country has been happy for it to do. A minimum global tax rate of 15% could see things shaken up, however.

Apple is set to take on new offices in Ireland and they don't look too shabby, either.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.