Monday 12 July 2021 9:32 am

Apple's two UK divisions pay just £9m in UK corporation tax as sales top £1.1bn

Apple paid just £9m in tax in the UK last year even as the tech giant weathered the pandemic to pull in sales of more than £1.1bn.

In recently filed accounts the iPhone maker’s two UK subsidiaries — Apple Retail UK and Apple UK — posted revenue of £1.1bn and £372m respectively in 2020.

Pre-tax profit for the divisions came in at £31m and £44m for the year to 29 September.

Yet Apple’s combined UK tax bill was just £9.2m — even lower than the previous year.

Apple, which has a market valuation of $2.4 trillion, is one of a string of major tech firms to come under fire for reducing their UK tax bills by funnelling profits through divisions in low-tax jurisdictions.

The G20 has agreed to tax reforms tabled by the OECD which will establish a new minimum global corporate tax rate and ensure large multinational companies pay tax in the countries in which they sell products or services.

An Apple spokesperson said: “At Apple, we respect and support the important role taxes play in the economic growth and well-being of nations. 

“As the biggest tax payer in the world, we pay all taxes owed in accordance with each country’s laws and regulations everywhere we operate in the world. We also have been open about our strong support of the OECD’s development of a new inclusive tax framework.”

The filings showed the impact of the pandemic on Apple as Covid lockdowns forced the company to shutter stores.

Apple’s UK retail sales fell 20 per cent from £1.4bn the previous year, while pre-tax profit fell from £39m to £31m.

Meanwhile Apple UK, which provides services such as research and development, said operating costs had increased 26 per cent to £330m due to “increased activities performed by the company”.

Accounts filed for Apple Europe, which is also registered in the UK, showed a 15 per cent increase in revenue to £810m, while pre-tax profit rose from £443m to £526m.

Across all three divisions turnover slipped three per cent to £2.2bn while total operating profit rose 16 per cent to £592m.

Apple said its combined tax payments increased to £97m from £91m the year before.