Written by: Keith Tully
Published: 11th January 2018
An extensive audit of Apple Europe’s UK operations by HMRC has resulted in the consumer technology giant paying an extra £137 million to the British tax authorities.
Accounts filed with Companies House in recent days revealed an acceptance by Apple that it ought to have been paying more in taxes in relation to its UK operations.
The filing said: “This payment of additional tax and interest reflects the company’s increased activity and is recognised in the current financial period which ended on 1 April 2017.
“As a result of this adjustment the company’s corporate income tax payments will increase going forward.”
The payment by Apple Europe to HMRC brings the company’s total UK tax payments for the 18 months prior to April 2017 to £194 million, with it having previously paid £57 million in relation to pre-tax profits worth close to £300 million.
Statements given on behalf of Apple have aimed to emphasis the company’s pride in its activities in Britain and its contribution to the country as an “engine of economic growth”.
“Last year we spent nearly £2bn with British suppliers and, all told, our investment and innovation now supports over 300,000 jobs up and down the country,” a spokesperson for the US-based company has said.
“We know the important role that tax payments play in society,” they added.
“HMRC recently concluded a multiyear audit of our UK accounts and the settlement we reached with HMRC is reflected in our recently filed accounts.”
The details of Apple’s tax filings across Europe have been a consistent source of concern within the EU and for individual European countries in recent years, with some disagreements emerging over where and to what extent the company’s profits should be taxed.
In 2016, the European Commission ordered authorities in Ireland to reclaim £11 billion in unpaid taxes from Apple, which was adjudged to have been benefiting unfairly from tax arrangements that amounted to state aid.
“The commission’s investigation concluded that Ireland granted illegal tax benefits to Apple, which enabled it to pay substantially less tax than other businesses over many years,” explained EU commissioner Margrethe Vestager at the time of the commission’s ruling.