Apple paid less than £10m in UK tax last year

Big tech company criticised for 2020 tax bill that was significantly less than the previous year’s £39m

Apple paid only £9 million ($12.4m) in tax in Britain last year despite raking in more than £1.1 billion in sales throughout the cycle of Covid-19 lockdowns.

Two subsidiaries – Apple Retail UK and Apple UK – posted earnings of £1.1bn and £372m respectively in 2020.

However, the iPhone maker reported a tax bill of only £9.2m for the two divisions.

The figure was significantly less than its tax bill of £39m in 2019.

Apple is the world’s largest company by market capitalisation and is worth more than $2 trillion.

The company, which was forced to close its shops during three UK lockdowns, reported a pre-tax profit of $75m for its two UK divisions last year.

Apple is one of many large technology companies that are criticised for funnelling profits through low-tax jurisdictions.

Last month, G7 leaders signed a deal to tackle tax abuse by large multinational companies.

On Sunday, G20 finance ministers announced their support the historic shake-up in tax laws.

The backing of the world's 19 biggest economies and the European Union will help ensure the tax revolution becomes a reality after eight years of intense negotiations.

The principle of the agreement is that multinationals would have to pay a minimum tax rate of at least 15 per cent in each country they operate.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the plans to make technology companies pay more tax was "discriminatory against US firms".

Meanwhile, Apple defended its record of paying tax in the UK.

“At Apple, we respect and support the important role taxes play in the economic growth and well-being of nations,” a spokesman said.

“As the biggest taxpayer in the world, we pay all taxes owed in accordance with each country’s laws and regulations everywhere we operate in the world. We also have been open about our strong support of the OECD’s development of a new inclusive tax framework.”

Updated: July 12th 2021, 11:26 AM
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