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UK taxpayers fed up with companies like Apple using tricks to slash tax, says campaigner

Its retail arm had a gross profit of £337million for the year to the end of September 2019, according to accounts filed to Companies House. But after costs and expenses of £1.35billion, Apple Retail UK made a pre-tax profit of just £39million.  Accounts show the firm paid a dividend of £25million to Apple Retail Europe in the tax haven of Ireland. 

Executive director of Tax Justice UK, Robert Palmer, said: “People are fed up of big companies like Apple using clever tricks to slash their tax bills. 

“Politicians need to step up and stop it being so easy for tech giants to avoid paying their fair share.” 

The US firm, which is valued at around £1.3trillion, has 38 stores in the UK and employs 5,012 staff. 

An Apple spokesperson said: “As the largest taxpayer in the world, we know the important role tax payments play in society and always pay all that we owe.

“We are very proud of our many contributions across the UK and last year spent over £2 billion with hundreds of suppliers. Our investment and innovation support more than 325,000 jobs in the UK and, in addition to our tax contributions, we also think it’s important to do more for people and society.

“We focused our attention on supporting the response to COVID-19, making significant financial contributions and donating face masks and shields here in the UK.”

It is often accused of paying little corporation tax to HM Revenue and Customs. Multinational corporations use UK tax laws to legally send billions in sales to head offices in countries with lower tax rates. 

George Turner, director of Tax Watch UK, said: “Apple’s US accounts disclose that the company moves tens of billions of dollars a year out of Europe and into tax havens.” 

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A spokesman for Apple said: “We always pay all that we owe.”

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