Financial centres slam Paradise Papers backlash
By Kirsten Hastings, 7 Nov 17
The UK’s crown dependencies and overseas territories have hit back at international media scrutiny and allegations that they facilitate tax avoidance and evasion following the leak of the Paradise Papers.
The Paradise Papers revealed that global tech giant Apple moved two firms from Ireland to Jersey, including one holding most of its untaxed offshore cash, estimated around £252bn (£192.2bn, €217.1bn).
The move followed international pressure on Ireland to crackdown on firms based on the emerald isle that claimed almost all of their income was not subject to taxes in Ireland or anywhere else in the world, reports the ICIJ.
On Monday, Apple responded to the leak: “Apple believes every company has a responsibility to pay its own taxes, and as the largest taxpayer in the world, Apple pays every dollar it owes in every country around the world.”
Apple advised that it had informed the US, Irish and European Commission regulators of its reorganisation at the end of 2014.
“The changes we made did not reduce our tax payments in any country.”
According to local newspaper Jersey Evening Post, Apple’s actions were not illegal and the companies have since moved out of Jersey.
The government of Jersey released a statement on Tuesday confirming that it would investigate whether or not the move was legitimate.
“Jersey does not want abusive tax avoidance schemes operating in the island and expects financial services providers to abide by a voluntary code to say they will not take on this kind of business.
“If this proves to be such business, we will consider how to strengthen our arrangements, if necessary by amending our legislation to introduce a substance test.
“It is not satisfactory for a foreign registered company to claim tax residence in Jersey without demonstrating a substance here. These allegations will be investigated, and we are asking the ICIJ to provide all relevant documents to support this action,” the statement read.