Apple Inc has said none of its operations were moved from Ireland and that changes made to its corporate structure in 2015 were specially designed to preserve tax payments to the United States, and not to reduce taxes anywhere else. As David Pollard reports, the statement follows criticism of its tax affairs after reports based on the ''Paradise Papers'' showed that the iPhone maker shifted key parts of its business to Jersey as an offshore tax haven in a move to maintain a low tax rate.
The boats are sheltering here but the question is whether a giant pile of Apple cash is too. The leaked Paradise Papers, media reports say, show the world's most profitable firm has a secretive new structure to avoid paying billions in taxes. And has moved most of its 252 billion dollars of untaxed offshore cash to Jersey - a known tax haven in the English Channel. Only now, Apple is biting back. The tech giant says none of its operations were moved from Ireland. Any changes to its corporate structure were designed to preserve tax payments to the US ... And not reduce them anywhere else. The leaked papers are energising the debate over whether foreign firms are wriggling out of obligations in Europe and elsewhere. And come as ECOFIN ministers meet to discuss further measures against tax avoidance. (SOUNDBITE) (German) LUXEMBOURG FINANCE MINISTER, PIERRE GRAMEGNA, SAYING: "We've already made lots of progress in recent years, we've adopted new directives, and we will all work together on them." Apple itself is fresh from the launch of its iPhone Ten. And an earnings reports that drove its shares to new highs last week. The discussion on the market now over what - if any - impact the allegations may have. (SOUNDBITE) (English) HEAD OF CORPORATE DEVELOPMENT, 7IM, JUSTIN URQUHART STEWART, SAYING: "That's for the moral compass of that particular company and for the consumers as to whether they want to actually back it. But of course with the likes of Apple, most people buying Apple products don't care about that. They just want the product. Give me the phone. Don't care about the profits." The US might care, of course. Apple says it's the largest tax payer in the world - paying over 35 billion dollars in corporate taxes in three years - the largest share owed in its home country. While Europe may look not just at companies like Apple, so much as the barrels .... France on Tuesday asking its EU partners to agree to curbing international funding ... of states that provide tax shelters.