Apple paid less than 2pc tax on overseas profit

APPLE paid less than two per cent tax on profits outside the US, its regulatory filings have shown.

The technology giant paid $713m (£445m) in overseas corporation tax in the year to 29 September – as its foreign pre-tax earnings rose to $36.8bn (£23bn) from $24bn in 2011.

The percentage of foreign tax Apple paid fell to just 1.9 per cent, compared to 2.5 per cent last year. Both stand well below the headline corporation tax rate of 24 per cent and 35 per cent in the US.

The slide in tax payment, shown in the company’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing, comes after a bumper year for Apple, which sold 125m iPhones, 58m iPads and 13.5m Macbook laptops worldwide.

While Apple has not broken any laws with the arrangement of its tax payments, the news is likely to put its systems under the spotlight.

Google, Amazon and Starbucks are already being brought before the Commons public accounts committee to explain why they have paid so little tax in the UK.

Apple was not available for comment last night.

Coffee giant Starbucks reportedly paid just £8.6m in corporation tax in 14 years of trading in Britain, and nothing for the last three years.

A Sunday Times investigation found America’s top five technology companies legally avoided around £850m in corporation tax last year

It said Apple channels much of its business in Britain and Europe through a subsidiary based in County Cork, Ireland.