Apple paid only 2% corporation tax outside US

Customers at Apple store in Hong Kong Apple's total profits for the year were up 24%

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Apple paid less than 2% corporation tax on its profits outside the US, its filing with US regulators has shown.

The company paid $713m (£445m) in the year to 29 September on foreign pre-tax profits of $36.8bn, a rate of 1.9%.

It is the latest company to be identified as paying low rates of overseas tax, following Starbucks, Facebook and Google in recent weeks.

It has not been suggested that any of their tax avoidance schemes are illegal.

All of the companies pay considerable amounts of other taxes in the UK, such as National Insurance, and raise large sums of VAT.

Apple's figures for foreign tax appear on page 61 of its form 10-K filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The form is used to summarise the performance of public companies.

It had paid a rate of 2.5% the previous year.

Apple channels much of its business in Europe through a subsidiary in the Republic of Ireland, which has lower corporation tax than Britain.

But even Ireland charges 12.5%, compared with Britain's 24%.

Many multinational companies manage to pay substantially below the official corporation tax rates by using tax havens such as Caribbean islands.

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