Apple’s tax bill for its chain of 38 stores across the UK more than halved last year, despite an EU mandate to pay back taxes and interest amounting to €14bn (£12.5bn).
The Californian tech giant’s retail arm paid just £3.8m in tax in the 12 months to the end of September last year, falling from £10.1m in 2017.
Profit before tax rose six per cent to £33.7m, though sales fell to £1.2bn. The firm paid out a dividend of £13m to its Dublin-based parent.
Alongside the likes of Google and Ebay, Apple’s UK entity is registered in Ireland where corporation tax is low.
Ireland was found guilty of proffering billions in illegal state aid in 2016 by the European Commission in connection to Apple’s base in the country, which Apple later paid.
Apple’s tax bill for its store network reached a high of £13.8bn in 2016, but has continued to decline since then.
The company paid a total of £70.5m in corporation tax last year across its three UK entities – Apple UK, Apple Retail UK and Apple Europe. It had an average of more than 5,000 employees in the UK in 2018.
Apple said a statement, first reported by the Sunday Times: “In the last five years we’ve spent over £8bn with local companies and across the country our investment and innovation now supports more than 325,000 jobs.
“As the largest taxpayer in the world, we know the important role tax payments play in society. We pay all that we owe according to tax laws and local customs wherever we operate and since 2008 Apple’s corporate taxes alone have totalled over $100bn.”