Nikkei Asia : Apple & Big Tech tax burdens just 60% of global average

Tim Cook
Tim Cook (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • New research says tech's big four, including Apple, only pay about 60% of the average tax burden of companies worldwide.
  • Nikkei Asia analyzed 57,000 companies to compare.
  • The average ratios given for the four was 15.4%, 9.7% less than the global average.

New research from Nikkei Asia claims that Apple, Google, Amazon, and Facebook only pay around 60% of the average tax burden of more than 50,000 companies worldwide.

According to the report:

The average tax burden ratio for top American IT companies, collectively known as the "Big Four"-- Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon -- is about 15%, or around 60% of the average among more than 50,000 large companies worldwide, a recent Nikkei analysis finds.The existing corporate income tax system is ill adapted to a digitized economy, as it cannot fully account for intangible assets. Competitive tax cutting among nations has come to a head, due in part to the fiscal expansion undertaken to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. Policymakers around the world now see an increasing need for global tax rules.

Nikkei sampled 57,000 companies, calculating their tax burden ratios between 2018 and 2020. According to its findings the "big four" gave average tax burden ratios of 15.4%, 9.7% less than the global average of the companies surveyed, 25.1%.

In response to the survey Apple stated "As the largest taxpayer in the world, Apple pays every dollar it owes in every country around the world." Apple CEO Tim Cook is a vocal proponent of global tax reform. In January 2020 he stated "I think logically everybody knows it needs to be rehauled, I would certainly be the last person to say that the current system or the past system was the perfect system. I'm hopeful and optimistic that they (the OECD) will find something."

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9