Apple accused of tax-dodging in the U.K.

With earnings in the billions, Apple is reportedly doling out only a small percentage of the taxes it's obligated to pay in Britain.

Apple's London retail store. Apple

Apple is avoiding paying the full amount of U.K. taxes it owes for the last financial year, alleges a British news report in the Daily Mail today.

The report says that Apple earned 6 billion pounds (roughly $9.5 billion) but paid only 10 million pounds (around $16 million) in taxes -- which is far below the standard in the U.K.

The news source gathered documents from Apple's retail divisions in 2010 that show the company also paid less that year than is typical for a business selling products in the U.K. These documents show that Apple paid 3.79 million pounds ($6 million) on retail sales of more than 500 million pounds (nearly $800 million).

"Experts say Apple's total sales in the U.K. are far higher, as many are logged elsewhere," the Daily Mail writes. "They estimate revenues from Britain accounted for around 10 per cent of its 63 billion pounds (nearly $100 billion) worldwide figure for the year."

The Daily Mail also alleges that Apple is skirting U.S. taxes. It says that Apple paid U.S. corporation taxes at a rate of 25.3 percent when the law requires 35 percent. Apparently, the tech company said that it paid the lower rate because of "undistributed foreign earnings" that it plans to hold "indefinitely."

This news comes as Apple's market capitalization crossed the $600 billion mark in midday trading today, which set a record for the company. The iPad maker also reportedly hired Symantec former Chief Accounting Officer Phillip Bullock to lead its tax department, according to The Next Web.

Apple isn't the only tech company under fire for dodging U.K. taxes. The Daily Mail alleges that Amazon and Google also avoided paying taxes in Britain. However, Google says that it has complied with U.K. tax law.

"We have an obligation to our shareholders to set up a tax-efficient structure, and our present structure is compliant with the tax rules in all the countries where we operate," a Google spokesperson told CNET in an e-mail.

Apple and Amazon did not respond to request for comment.

About the author

Dara Kerr, a freelance journalist based in the Bay Area, is fascinated by robots, supercomputers and Internet memes. When not writing about technology and modernity, she likes to travel to far-off countries.

 

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