HMRC forces Apple Europe to pay £136m extra in tax

10 Jan 18

US tech giant Apple has been forced to pay an extra £136m in tax to the UK after an “extensive audit” of the company’s business arrangements.

The tax bill reportedly comes via subsidiary Apple Europe, which reported that the payment of £137m, including interest on the unpaid tax, was a “corporate income adjustment” and reflected “the company’s increased activity”.

This comes as multinational tech companies, including Amazon and Google, have been investigated for their tax affairs and a crack-down on tax avoidance.

The UK’s HM Revenue & Customs forced Apple Europe, one of the company’s subsidiaries in the UK that provides marketing services for its Ireland-based international headquarters, to agree to the larger bill as it had not received a large enough commission on the sales it helped secure, it was reported by the Financial Times.

Apple said in a statement: “We know the important role that tax payments play in society. Apple pays all that we owe according to tax laws and local customs in the countries we operate.

“As a multinational business and the largest taxpayer in the world, Apple is regularly audited by tax authorities around the world.

“HMRC recently concluded a multiyear audit of our UK accounts and the settlement we reached with HMRC is reflected in our recently filed accounts.”

The Dutch government agreed last month to help investigate the tax affairs of Ikea, as part of the EU crack-down on aggressive corporate tax avoidance.

The European Council published its ‘blacklist’ of non-EU 17 countries classified as tax havens in December, but NGOs warned that multiple EU member states would meet the criteria of a tax haven if put to the test.

The UK could become defined as a tax haven by the EU after it leaves the bloc, participants of an All Party-Parliamentary Group on Responsible Tax seminar warned in November. 

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