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French taxman trains sights on Apple

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French taxman trains sights on Apple
A woman takes pictures of a window shop displaying the Apple watch on Saint-Honore street in Paris in September 2014. Photo: Loic Venance/AFP
11:35 CEST+02:00
The multinational tech giant Apple is being investigated by the French tax authorities, who are concerned over the amount of tax being paid on some seemingly low turnover figures in France.

The tax audit concerns Apple France's accounts between 2011 and 2013, according to accounts filed earlier this month at the Registry of the Commercial Court.

French tax authorities are looking at the disparity between the level of taxation and the amount of sales in France.

“In March 2014, Apple France was notified of an opening of a tax audit for the fiscal years 2011, 2012 and 2013. The tax audit underway,” according to a document provided by the French subsidiary to the commercial court quoted in Le Parisien.

According to the website L'Express, Apple France, which is located in Paris's wealthy 16th arrondissement, paid just €7 million in corporate income tax in 2014 on a turnover of €52.4 million.

The previous year Apple France paid just  €6.4 million in tax.

That figure appears fairly low given that the apple recorded sales figures of €38.6 billion across the whole of Europe in 2014. 

On top of that the sales figures of Apple products in France reached €463 million last year, but they 

The sales of Apple's 21 outlets in France and through the online store are accounted for separately through another subsidiary  - Apple France Retail, which is registered in Cork, Ireland. 

French tax authorities are concerned by the fact that only 1.3 percent of Apple's European-wide revenue, is subject to the Frnech tax man, which doesn't quite add up for France's ministry of finance. 

In fact Apple benefits from the more beneficial tax rates in Luxembourg, where all downloads through the Apple store are registered and in Ireland where all the sales figures from the stores are declared.

In March the European Commission unveiled a tax transparency package to crack down on corporate tax avoidance.

The package includes a proposal to introduce an automatic exchange of information between the EU's 28 member states on their tax rulings.

According to the commission the member states are deprived of billions of euros each year as a result of tax evasion.
 

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