Apple has been named as the biggest corporate tax avoider in the United States after booking $218.55 billion of profit offshore last year.
The tech giant was able to save $65.08 billion that it should have paid in tax thanks to its convoluted arrangements.
The report revealed that last year, three quarters of all Fortune 500 companies used subsidiaries in offshore tax havens where they sent a total of $2.42 trillion of income. In the US alone this amounted to $715.62 billion in tax which they avoided paying.
The report said many of the biggest companies in the world use a foreign office to ‘disguise’ their profits as coming from another country even if they are not.
The report reveals that the the top 30 tax avoiders based in America collectively operated a staggering 2,509 tax haven subsidiaries.
Apple was the top with three foreign subsidiaries, all in Ireland, but they constituted $218.55 billion of profit booked overseas. In second was pharmaceutical giant Pfizer with 181 offshore subsidiaries through which it funneled $192.57 billion of income. The report also highlighted sports giant Nike which holds $10.57 billion offshore.
The study was written in the US by pressure group Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. Matthew Gardner of the ITEP said: ‘The hard fact is that the US tax code incentivizes tax haven abuse by allowing companies to indefinitely defer taxes on offshore profits until they are ‘repatriated.’
‘The only way to end this kind of tax avoidance is by closing the loopholes in the tax code that enable it’.
Apple has a long history of minimizing its tax bill through creative arrangements such as funneling its profits through its Irish office.In August, the EU hit the company with a $14.39 billion tax bill because it viewed the ‘sweetheart’ deals with Ireland as a breach of European law.
Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook has called attempts to make it pay more tax ‘political crap’ and has said that the company follows all relevant laws.
This article originally appeared on the Daily Mail.