Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Apple should pay its fair share

The Herald reports that Apple made over $1 billion in Aotearoa last year. So given profit margins in the tech industry, you'd expect a pretty hefty tax bill to help support our pandemic response, right? Of course not: they paid only $12.4 million. And they paid it in Australia.

How did they get away with this? The article notes that "[a]s with other big techs, hefty internal charges contributed to $1.2b in expenses". To put this in English, Apple NZ had to pay other bits of Apple for products and the use of its IP. Of course, how much one bit of Apple pays another bit of Apple for stuff owned by Apple is entirely up to Apple, so whether it makes a "profit" or "loss" (and how big it is) is also entirely up to Apple, which means they effectively get to choose how much tax they pay and where. In this case, the size of those "internal charges" suggests they chose to steal from us. Which invites the question: how long is the government going to keep letting them do it?