Paradise Papers reveal Apple moved bits of biz offshore

Ross helping to shape President Donald Trump's trade policy has a 31 percent stake in Navigator Holdings which the New York Times said earns millions of dollars a year transporting gas for Russian petrochemical firm Sibur

The paper said Apple has $US128 billion ($A179 billion) in offshore profits not taxed by the US.

Apple CEO Tim Cook in May 2013 testified before Congress about his company's tax practices.

Apple claims that the company pays an "effective tax rate on foreign earnings" of 21 percent, despite the fact that European Union was trying to make Apple pay about $15 billion in disputed back taxes associated with double-Irish-flips. "We've paid over $35bn in corporate income taxes over the past three years, plus billions of dollars more in property tax, payroll tax, sales tax and VAT", it said.

A new report from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and its media partners says Apple sought out a new location to store its overseas cash to avoid paying higher taxes.

In relation to Apple's $252 billion cash pile, much of which is believed to be untaxed profits that went through its Irish subsidiaries, the statement said Apple has cash "overseas [outside the US] because that's where it sells the majority of its products".

Instead of paying Irish corporation tax of 12.5%, or the USA rate of 35%, Apple's avoidance structure helped it reduce its tax rate on profits outside of the U.S. to the extent that its foreign tax payments rarely amounted to more than 5% of its foreign profits, and in some years dipped below 2%.

After the US technology colossus stated publicly in 2013 that it was paying its proper share of taxes, it moved the bulk of its untaxed overseas cash to Jersey, a British dependency in the Channel Islands, various media organizations reported based on the once-secret cache of documents known as the Paradise Papers.

New documents made public as part of the release of the Paradise Papers revealed that Apple moved two of its subsidiary companies to the island of Jersey in order to avoid tax obligations and or regulations.

Paradise Papers documents also show details of offshore deals involving Queen Elizabeth II, the USA commerce secretary, a fundraiser for Canada's prime minister and others.

- Britain's Queen Elizabeth II has, through the Duchy of Lancaster which provides her income and handles her investments, placed around £10 million ($13 million, €11.3 million) of her private money in funds held in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda.

Apple revamped its business empire to take advantage of tax loopholes on the European island after a crackdown on Ireland's loose rules began in 2013, the documents reveal.

Apple said: "When Ireland changed its tax laws in 2015, we complied by changing the residency of our Irish subsidiaries and we informed Ireland, the European Commission and the United States".

"There was no tax benefit for Apple from this change and, importantly, this did not reduce Apple's tax payments or tax liability in any country", Apple said, stating it had "paid billions of dollars in USA tax on the investment income of this subsidiary". "The changes we made did not reduce our tax payments in any country".

"Additional tax is then also due in the USA when the earnings are repatriated", the statement said.

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