Apple shelters almost $1bn a week from US tax man
However, analysis of its filings in America suggest a more realistic figure for UK turnover is £6.7bn. This would imply an estimated profit of £2.2bn and, at the then corporation tax rate of 26pc, a £570m tax bill, the Sunday Times reports.
Apple is the latest in a line of large companies that have been exposed for using legal tax holes which result in the company paying less tax.
Prime Minister David Cameron last week told tax-avoiding companies to “wake up and smell the coffee”, comments which drew threats from Starbucks’ UK managing director of suspending millions of pounds of investment in Britain.
Starbucks took an unprecedented step of pledging to pay £20m corporation tax in the UK, after it came under fire for paying nothing last year despite making sales of £398m.
Facebook has been accused of “immoral” behaviour after accounts showed that the social media giant paid a corporate tax bill of just over £238,000 last year, despite estimated revenues of £175m.
At the end of last month David Cameron demanded an investigation into claims of large-scale avoidance while Brussels moved to close European VAT loop-holes enjoyed by Amazon, Skype and Netflix.
The Prime Minister said HM Revenue & Customs should “look carefully” at cases where international corporations have legally been able to pay no corporation tax – or very small amounts – on billions of pounds of UK revenue.
Apple could not be reached for comment.