Apparently Apple paid zero taxes in New Zealand for a decade

Apple doesn't appear to pay tax in New Zealand.
Image: Rick Rycroft/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Why is Silicon Valley so cruel to New Zealand? First we discover PayPal founder and Trump acolyte Peter Thiel is a secret citizen, now it's emerged Apple pays the country absolutely nothing in taxes.

Apparently the tech giant paid no income tax on local profits to Inland Revenue over the past 10 years, because its local operations are owned and run out of Australia.

According to financial documents examined by the New Zealand Herald, this was despite Apple Sales New Zealand making sales of NZ$4.2 billion ($2.96 billion) since 2007.

Matt Nippert (the same journalist who uncovered Thiel's citizenship), found the income tax owed to New Zealand was instead sent to the Australian Tax Office.

Apple's Australian branch said the company follows the law and pays tax on everything it earns.

"Apple aims to be a force for good and we're proud of the contributions we've made in New Zealand over the past decade," a spokesperson said in a statement. "Because our products and services are created, designed and engineered in the US, that's where the vast majority of our tax is paid."

The New Zealand revelation is only the latest controversy caused by Apple's byzantine tax structures around the world.

In August, the European Commission ruled Apple should pay 13 billion ($14 billion) in retroactive taxes to Ireland. The investigation found Ireland had violated EU law by giving Apple "illegal" tax benefits unavailable to other corporations.

Apple CEO Tim Cook reacted angrily at the time, writing in a letter to customers that the European Commission was trying to "rewrite Apple's history in Europe."

"The most profound and harmful effect of this ruling will be on investment and job creation in Europe," he said. "Using the Commission's theory, every company in Ireland and across Europe is suddenly at risk of being subjected to taxes under laws that never existed."

Closer to home, Apple was brought before a Senate inquiry in Australia in 2015 after it emerged substantial local profits were being funnelled through Irish subsidiaries.

A 2014 report from Fairfax Media found Apple paid A$80 million ($61 million) tax on A$6 billion ($4.6 billion) worth of revenue in 2014, shifting A$8.9 billion ($6.8 billion) of untaxed revenue via Ireland.

Apple's managing director in Australia, Tony King, maintained at the time that Apple met all its Australian tax obligations.

Inland Revenue said it could not comment on the affairs of individual taxpayers.

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Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/03/22/apple-no-new-zealand-tax/