Apple paid just 2% corporation tax outside the US last year

Joins growing list of tax-swerving tech giants

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Apple's financial results reveal that it managed to pay just 2% corporation tax in overseas countries last year.

The Cupertino company paid foreign (e.g. outside the US) taxes of $713 million (£445m/ AU$689m) last year, despite making $36.8 billion overseas (£23bn / AU$35.5bn).

It's not clear how much of that was paid in each specific country over the course of the year.

Only death is certain now

Tech companies are coming under increasing scrutiny in the UK, at least, where it's possible to side-step British corporation taxes by routing payments through other countries that charge a lower rate – like Ireland.

Ireland is Apple's tax haven of choice and in 2011, the company paid £10 million in tax on £6 billion-worth of UK sales by opting for the Irish route.

This is perfectly legal, although it leaves Brits somewhat short-changed in the tax department despite Apple's significant contributions to the unavoidable national insurance and VAT coffers.

Other tech giants that have been accused of avoiding paying their fair share of tax include Amazon and Google, both of whom have been invited to discuss the matter with the Public Accounts Committee at Parliament later this month.

From Apple via BBC