Apple to pay £136 million in back taxes after UK audit

Apple iPhone and MacBook

HMRC (Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs) has completed an "extensive audit" of Apple, and accounts show that the company has been hit with a £136 million ($184 million) back tax bill.

There has been a great deal of interest in the tax arrangement of technology companies in the past couple of years, and the recent Paradise Papers revealed how Apple was structuring its finances. The latest payment in the UK comes after Apple agreed to settle a $15 billion bill in Ireland, and the company says its UK tax bill payments will increase in coming years.

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In its Company House filing for year-ending April 2017, Apple Europe shows a turnover of £656 million ($887 million) in the preceding 18 months, and a pre-tax profit of £297 million ($402 million). The company is also shown to employ 791 people.

In the filings Apple Europe says:

Following an extensive audit by HMRC the company has agreed to pay the adjustment covering prior years up to September 26 2015. This payment of additional tax and interest reflect the Company’s increased activity and is recognized in current financial period which ended 1 April 2017.

Apple has reiterated that it cooperates with all local tax laws wherever it operates. In a statement to the Financial Times, the company said:

We know the important role that tax payments play in society. Apple pays all that we owe according to tax laws and local customs in the countries where we operate.

As a multinational business and the largest taxpayer in the world, Apple is regularly audited by tax authorities around the world. HMRC recently concluded a multiyear audit of our UK accounts and the settlement we reached with HMRC is reflected in our recently filed accounts.

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