Many big-name companies have faced allegations regarding tax evasion, with these accusations sometimes coming from various countries. Recently, Apple came to an agreement with the French authorities that officially settled its back taxes in the country.
The information regarding the settlement came via a report in L’Express, a French magazine. According to the report, the tech giant paid almost €500 million (the equivalent of $570 million) via a settlement of a confidential nature. When making a statement to Reuters, the French business portion of Apple did confirm the presence of a deal. They did not, however, indicate in any way the amount that was involved.
Following an Audit
In that statement, Apple France indicated that the company regularly undergoes audits, including those from fiscal authorities in a range of countries. This is the simple result of it being a large multinational company. The settlement came following a multi-year audit from the French tax administration on the Apple accounts in France. According to Apple, we will be able to see the details on its public accounts in the future.
According to the original report from L’Express, the investigation had a focus. This was on the small number of sales in France in comparison to the large size of the French market for Apple. In reality, the majority of Apple’s sales are booked within Ireland. This is the European headquarters of the American company, a decision that was made for its tax benefits as Ireland has a very low corporate tax rate.
Not a Solitary Occurrence
While this is the only recent time that Apple has made headlines for reaching a settlement with French tax authorities, the company has faced similar news from the authorities in other countries. In 2018, HM Revenue and Customs in the United Kingdom completed an extensive audit. The result was that Apple paid an additional £136 million in taxes. Back in September, Ireland indicated it recovered an amount of $13.1 billion from Apple in the form of disputed taxes, in addition to interest amounting to €1.2 billion. Ireland is holding these funds ahead of the appeal against a ruling on EU taxes. This is part of the corporate income tax adjustment for dates up to September 2015.
The Future of Apple and French Taxes
France is currently lobbying to create the biggest tax on tech firms that would be in force across the European Union. It remains to be seen whether this will come to fruition or not, or if France is in the minority with its tech tax goals.
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