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.
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.