In a bizarre twist in the whole multinational tax minimisation saga, it has been revealed Apple New Zealand has paid no income tax in that country for 10 years while paying $36 million to the Australian Taxation Office.
The New Zealand arm of the tech giant has earned revenue of $NZ4.2 billion since 2007, according to the NZ Herald, but paid no income taxes to that country’s Inland Revenue office.
Meanwhile, Apple New Zealand handed $NZ37 million to the Australian Taxation Office over the same period.
Apple did not directly address the discrepancy but did state from its Australian office that it “aims to be a force for good”.
“We’re proud of the contributions we’ve made in New Zealand over the past decade. Because our products and services are created, designed and engineered in the US, that’s where the vast majority of our tax is paid,” a spokesperson said.
The Herald said if Apple’s New Zealand arm posted profits similar to operations globally its tax bill would have been $NZ356 million over the decade.
Apple, along with other tech giants such as Google and Microsoft, has faced scrutiny in recent years over their revenue offshoring arrangements. In Australia, extra attention from the tax office, including an audit, led to Apple’s local arm copping a 97% hit in net profit for the year ending September 24, 2016 – attributed to “tax adjustments” for previous years.
In Europe, Apple was in hot water last year for its relationship with the Irish government, which granted the American tech giant special tax status. The European Commission ordered Apple to pay $19 billion in back taxes last August, ruling Ireland had provided it “illegal state aid”.
The Apple Australia spokesperson said that the company “is the largest taxpayer in the world” and it adheres to local laws to “pay tax on everything we earn, wherever we operate”.
Read the full story on Apple’s New Zealand tax life here.