Apple forced to pay £136 million in UK back taxes

The UK’s tax coffers are looking a little healthier tonight with tech giant Apple on the hook for an extra £136 million in back payments.

A Financial Times report late on Tuesday says “an extensive audit” from Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs revealed the startling shortcoming in tax receipts.

The payment pertains to the Apple Europe subsidiary, which the FT reports had not received a large enough commission on sales it helped to procure through marketing services. This shortfall led to a lower taxable income for several years up until 2015.

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The government department reportedly said “this payment of additional tax and interest reflects the company’s increased activity.”

Apple, which has been subject to repeated allegations of evasive taxation tactics in the European Union, has once again asserted it pays every cent of tax it owes.

In a statement, the firm wrote: “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.”

Taxing times

In 2016, the European Commission ordered Ireland to recoup 13 billion euros in unpaid taxes from Apple.

At the time, the EU asserted the special treatment the Irish government afforded to Apple qualified as “illegal state aid.”

The ruling is currently subject to appeal.

Late last year, the Paradise Papers claimed Apple moved cash to Jersey in the Channel Islands in order to avoid paying tax on its offshore hoard.

Apple’s denial features many of the sentiments also expressed by the firm today.

Does the lingering controversy over Apple’s tax affairs affect your view of the company? Let us know @TrustedReviews on Twitter.