Apple has settled to pay French authorities around $571 million in back taxes, according to new reports. Apple today confirmed the deal but did not reveal the sum itself. The settlement comes after a multi-year audit into Apple’s accounts by the French tax management. It is a confidential agreement reached at the end of last year by which the company approves to pay that amount as reimbursement for the low turnover confirmed in France, and which had resulted in the payment of few taxes, according to the digital edition of the weekly “L’Express “.
The statement confirms earlier information gathered by L’Express, which reported that Apple reached a confidential clearance to pay back taxes at the end of 2018. While the company has not released how much it agreed to pay, the information from L’Express points to a sum close to US Dollar 571 million, covering a period of ten years. France has been cracking down on international businesses like Apple, which are blamed of exploiting local loopholes in an effort to lessen their tax bills at the expense of European companies. After an audit into Apple’s French accounts was carried out, the firm has agree to cough up for tax it previously did not settle.
“As a multinational company, Apple is repeatedly audited by fiscal authorities around the world,” Apple France said in the statement. “The French tax administration lately concluded a multi-year audit on the company’s French accounts, and those facts will be published in our public accounts.” L’Express reported that the enquiry centred on the small amount of sales the firm booked in France regardless of the size of France as a market for Apple. Most of its sales are booked in Ireland where the U.S. firm has its European headquarters, and which has a low corporate tax rate. Last year Apple paid an extra £136m in tax following an “extensive audit” by HM Revenue and Customs. Apple Europe agreed to pay a “corporate income tax adjustment” covering years up to 26 September 2015. In September, Ireland said it had recovered $13.1bn in disputed taxes from Apple plus interest of €1.2bn which it will hold in anticipation of its appeal against an EU tax ruling.
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