New corporate tax measure in the UK, aimed at companies that make profits in the UK and then shift them overseas to avoid higher UK taxes, could impact companies such as Apple, Google, and Amazon.
The British government announced a new 25% tax on profits generated in the UK and then “artificially shifted” overseas, reports the BBC.
Chancellor George Osborne announced the new tax as part of the government’s Autumn Statement, an annual review of spending and taxation, specifically mentioning the tech sector, though not naming particular companies.
“Some of the largest companies in the world, including those in the tech sector, use elaborate structures to avoid paying taxes,” said Osborne. “Today I am introducing a 25% tax on profits generated by multinationals from economic activity here in the UK which they then artificially shift out of the country.”
Apple’s three main British subsidiaries – Apple (UK), Apple Europe and Apple Retail UK – are reported to have paid no corporation taxes in 2012 despite reporting profits of £68m ($103m).
Apple’s international tax dealings have also come under scrutiny by the United States Senate.
The British government is also making moves to close a loophole used by Apple to avoid charging a 20% VAT (the British equivalent of sales tax) on iTunes sales in the UK.