Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) allegedly moved nearly 9 billion Australian dollars ($8.2 billion) in gross profits from its operations in Australia to Ireland in this decade, according to a report by the Australian Financial Review, or AFR, a local newspaper.
Following an investigation into the company's financial documents, AFR claimed that Apple paid only 0.7 percent of its turnover as tax in Australia where residents had bought $27 billion worth of products. The company, in a bid to save on taxes, reportedly moved about 8.9 billion Australian dollars ($8.2 billion) to Ireland-based Apple Sales International, which supplies and distributes Apple products, according to Agence France-Presse.
"Apple worldwide in the past four years have avoided paying tax on $US44 billion. Apple's structure is perfectly legal under the current tax law, but they are very good at looking at loopholes and the current structure has, in a way, the blessing of the US government," Antony Ting, a senior lecturer of taxation law at Sydney University, told ABC News.
AFR also claimed that Apple had moved about 2 billion Australian dollars ($1.8 billion) last year to Ireland, routing the money through Singapore, reporting pre-tax earnings of just 88.5 million Australian dollars ($79.7 million) in 2013.
The issue of global businesses moving money around to avoid paying local taxes was also raised at the G-20 meeting of finance ministers in Sydney in February. At the meeting, the ministers agreed to put in place an automatic exchange of information between members to reduce international tax evasion.
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The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development will present a report on the subject at the September meeting of the G-20 in Cairns in northern Australia.