US technology giant Apple has moved almost $9 billion in untaxed profits from its Australian operations to an Irish tax haven in the past 10 years, media reports say.
Fairfax Media claims to have obtained a decade’s worth of financial accounts for Apple Sales International, the Irish company at the centre of Apple’s international tax arrangements.
The accounts reveal the mark-up Apple charges for intellectual property on its global products, The Australian Financial Review reports.
Last year, Apple reported pre-tax earnings in Australia of only $88.5 million after sending an estimated $2 billion from its Australian sales to Ireland via Singapore, where Apple negotiated a secret tax deal in 2009, it said.
Apple Sales International has reported more than $US100 billion ($A112 billion) of profits in the last five years, but its accounts indicate it’s paid less than 50 cents in tax on every $1000 of income, the AFR said.
The report comes after last month’s Group of 20 finance ministers meeting decided that by November the world’s top economies would start to deliver effective and practical measures to counter tax avoidance.
G20 members expect to start automatically exchanging information on tax matters from 2015.
Independent senator Nick Xenophon said the report showed Apple was “rotten” and the government must act.
“When it comes to paying tax, it seems that this apple is rotten to the core,” Senator Xenophon told reporters in Canberra on Thursday.
“This, if true, is a scandal.”
Apple is being contacted for comment.