Normally I would prefer to promote all things BlackBerry but there is one item I couldn’t let go by. You see, earlier this week the Paradise Papers revealed the largest Tax Avoidance scam in the history of the world – Apple had lost its’ tax haven in Ireland so it moved its’ money to the Isle of Jersey. Now Apple playing shell games with its’ trillions isn’t exactly anything new. But the recent tragedy in Texas puts this in a whole new perspective. As Brad wrote earlier tonight, Apple appears to be positioning itself on the moral high-ground by granting authorities access to the shooters phone. This is in stark contrast to their defiant stance regarding the San Bernadino terrorist – but I digress.
If you take both these stories at face value Cupertino elevates hypocrisy to a Galactic Scale. On one hand they claim they want to do the right thing for the families of the Texas tragedy yet on the other hand they feel the need to reward stockholders with share values that are propped up by paying less than 5% on their revenue.
Apple’s 2017 accounts showed they made $44.7bn outside the US and paid just $1.65bn in taxes to foreign governments, a rate of around 3.7%. That is less than a sixth of the average rate of corporation tax in the world.
This scam could hardly pass the red-faced test. All one has to do is look at an internal Appleby email (Appleby is one of the leading offshore finance law firms and source of most of the leaked Paradise Papers).
“For those of you who are not aware, Apple [officials] are extremely sensitive concerning publicity. They also expect the work that is being done for them only to be discussed amongst personnel who need to know.”
So before you queue up and shell out over $1,000 for that shiny new iPhone X you have to ask yourself one question:
which Apple do you want to be associated with – the Apple who picks and chooses which murderers’ phone they will help authorities gain access to for PR reasons – or the Apple that avoids paying their fair share of taxes because they can afford the best finance law firm?