Science and Tech


Jersey Offshore: Leaked Docs Highlight Apple's Tax Avoidance Maneuvers

The small island of Jersey has become a focal point for Apple's massive offshore tax structure.
Posted at 8:57 PM, Nov 06, 2017

Apple and corporate taxes go together like oil and water, and a recent report shows just how far the company went to avoid those taxes. 

In 2013, the company's CEO, Tim Cook, had to explain to Congress why tens of billions of Apple's dollars were sitting virtually untaxed in subsidiaries in Ireland.

Ireland changed its tax code to crack down on tax avoidance soon after Cook made that appearance. Apple responded by moving its money somewhere a bit sunnier.

New leaked documents from various corporations — dubbed the Paradise Papers — reveal how Apple sought to minimize its tax burden by shopping around for offshore tax havens.

The company eventually decided on Jersey, a small island in the English Channel that doesn't tax corporate profits. It's now a crucial part of the estimated $252 billion Apple keeps in an overseas tax structure.

Apple said its restructuring was legal and didn't lower its tax bill. It also noted it has paid more than $35 billion in corporate taxes worldwide over the past three years.

Bringing offshore money back to be taxed in the States is one goal of the GOP tax bill currently in Congress. That bill cuts the corporate tax rate by 15 percent and puts a minimum tax on global profits kept anywhere in the world.