Apple pays less than 2 per cent tax on non-US profits

Apple paid just 1.9 per cent per cent corporation tax on profits outside the US last year, despite earnings of $36.87bn.

Luke Westaway Senior editor
Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.
Luke Westaway
2 min read

Apple is the latest tech giant to be identified as paying a mini amount of tax, with the iPhone-making company forking out just 1.9 per cent of its profit in tax outside the US.

Apple paid out $713m (about £446m) in overseas tax, in the year ending 29 September. A tidy sum, but less than 2 per cent of the company's gargantuan $36.87bn (roughly £23bn) profits, the Guardian reports. That's not much of a contribution from one of the world's richest entities.

While there's no suggestion that Apple has done anything illegal, the amount of tax it's paid is well below the UK corporation tax rate of 24 per cent. The BBC comments that Apple funnels much of its European trade through an Irish subsidiary -- but even Ireland charges 12.5 per cent corporation tax.

Apple isn't the only tech company involved in this practice. Facebook and Amazon have also been observed getting creative with the corporate calculator, while Vodafone has found itself in the spotlight in recent years as well.

Google's tax wiggling was called "entirely improper and immoral" by one MP, while Microsoft's acquisition of Skype may have seen the taxman short of £2.6bn.

This isn't the first time Apple's tax dealings have been under scrutiny. The glossy gadget-maker -- which paid out 2.5 per cent overseas tax last year -- pioneered tax-avoidance tactics, according to an in-depth report in the New York Times.

Presumably Apple's investors would be a little fed up if the company stopped finding ways to keep its tax payout to a bare minimum, but do massive corporations have a duty to pay more tax in nations they operate in? Tell me in the comments or on our Facebook wall.