It was easier than getting through to HMRC, Apple explains

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Apple has denied purposely avoiding paying billions of pounds in tax and claimed that its complex financial arrangements were only adopted after being repeatedly put on hold by the HMRC helpline. ‘We want to pay tax’ says Head of Corporate Finance Fenton Barnes. ‘When we rang we spent hours listening to a tinny rendition of Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons’, then when we eventually got through the guy couldn’t help us and said he would get his colleague to call us back.’

The company therefore developed a highly complicated tax structure which involved setting up a series of ‘ghost companies’ in multiple locations. ‘Just as we finished implementing that strategy, a guy called Kevin called back and said that he would have to run our queries past his boss,’ said Barnes. ‘That was in 2012 and we’re still waiting for him to call back’. When challenged, an HMRC spokesman said that the enquiry was very important to them and it would comment when the next available operative was free

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Posted: Nov 9th, 2017 by

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