Apple has sold billions of dollars with of iPhones, iPads, and Macs in New Zealand, but for some reason, it “forgot” to pay the tax bill for this amount, reports the New Zealand Herald, citing Green Party co-leader James Shaw.
“It is absolutely extraordinary that they are able to get away with paying zero tax in this country. I really like Apple products – they’re incredibly innovative – but it looks like their tax department is even more innovative than their product designers,” Green Party co-leader James Shaw said.
Since 2007, Apple sales have amounted to $4.2 billion, according to financial statements for the company’s New Zealand subsidiary. But the reports also show an apparent income tax payment of $37 million. The catch, however, is that this sum was actually sent abroad to the Australian Tax Office, not the Inland Revenue.
When asked for clarification by the NZ Herald, Apple avoided directly addressing questions related to its taxes paid to Inland Revenue.
“Apple aims to be a force for good and we’re proud of the contributions we’ve made in New Zealand over the past decade. Because our products and services are created, designed and engineered in the US, that’s where the vast majority of our tax is paid,” the spokesperson said.
Apple’s New Zealand operations are fully owned by the Australian parent company and “appear to be run from there. A tax treaty between the two countries sees dual claims on income tax default to where the company is controlled,” the report reads.
One politician, Deborah Russell, Labour Party candidate for the safe New Lynn electorate for September’s general election, says Apple’s tax practice complies with the law, so she sees no legal issues here. Revenue Minister Judith Collins declined to comment on the matter.
Apple’s tax affairs are already in the spotlight of authorities worldwide: Apple faced allegations that it was shifting billions of profits out of Australasia back in 2014. And after two years of investigation, the European Union has found that Apple has received illegal tax aid from Ireland and ordered the company to pay back $19 billion (CAD) to Ireland.