HMRC forces Apple to pay £137m in back taxes

HMRC forces Apple to pay £137m in back taxes

The company’s Europe branch agreed to pay the back taxes as well as £57m corporate tax for the period ending April 2017

HMRC forces Apple to pay £137m in back taxes

Apple has been forced to pay the UK £137m in back taxes following an “extensive audit” by HMRC, according to the tech giant’s accounts.

The company’s Europe branch agreed to pay the back taxes as well as £57m corporate tax for the period ending April 2017.

The £137m sum was described as a “corporate income tax adjustment” covering previous years up to September 2015. Apple said this additional tax payment reflected the company’s “increased activity”, and that corporate tax payments will increase going forward.

A spokesperson for Apple said: “Apple pays all that we owe according to tax laws and local customs in the countries where we operate.”

“As a multinational business and the largest taxpayer in the world, Apple is regularly audited by tax authorities around the world.”

“HMRC recently concluded a multiyear audit of our UK accounts and the settlement we reached with HMRC is reflected in our recently filed accounts.”

The company is no stranger to tax controversy, having previously been accused of creating tax avoidance structures to minimise its tax bill.

The European Commission took Ireland to court in 2017 for not collecting €13bn in back taxes from the tech giant. While the country was reticent to bill Apple, ultimately an agreement was reached for the figure to be paid.

Apple moved away from its Irish tax structures following pressure in 2013, but the Paradise Papers once again thrust the company’s tax behaviour into the spotlight as it was revealed the firm shifted subsidiaries holding large amounts of cash to Jersey to circumvent tax payments.

Apple Europe reported a pre-tax profit of £297m in the 18 months to April 2017 and paid £57m in taxes.

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