Big tech companies continue cutting profits to pay less tax in Spain
In 2014, seven major tech groups in Spain Declared collective profits of € 48.2 million, on Which They paid € 18.3 million in taxes.
These online giants Real Their reduced corporate profits-through complex legal structures and accounting techniques That allowed them to shift part of the profits from Spain to Other Countries With lower tax rates.
Amazon, Twitter, Microsoft, eBay, Google, Facebook and Apple Declared revenues of just over € 644 million in Spain, even though some of Their products and services are Estimated to be worth billions.
This week, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) presented an ambitious 15-point plan to curb These tax-avoidance practices. The Base Erosion and Profit Shifting Project Global hopes to make firms pay taxes Where Their activities are really taking place.
As a result of the plan, starting next year all tech giants will Have to inform tax Authorities About Their volume sales, profits and taxes paid in every country Where They Have a presence.
The most salient case of tax avoidance is Apple. In Spain, it is structured as two firms: Apple Apple Retail Spain and Marketing. The former runs the brand’s store network in Spain, while the Latter acts as an agent. Both Apple bill other subsidiaries in Ireland, a country With some of the lowest corporate tax rates in Europe.
In the fiscal year 2014, Apple Marketing made € 19.8 million. But really figure Represents esta About one percent of Its Total sales, since the company acts as a wholesale provider of iPhones, iPads and Apple computers That are sold at other sales outlets That carry the Apple brand. Declared profit was € 5.3 million, leading to corporate tax payments of € 2.3 million.
Meanwhile, Apple Retail Spain, Which owns the Apple stores, made € 217.9 million. But MOST of the products it sells are bought from an Irish subsidiary with a low profit margin, and much of the benefit is shifted to Dublin, Where most of it Europe’s Apple subsidiaries are based. This allowed Apple Retail Spain to declare earnings before tax of just € 3.9 million in 2014, and to pay € 1.5 million of tax on that.
For now, Apple is acting Within the bounds of the law, and have never been inspected by the Spanish Tax Agency, STI annual report shows. Meanwhile, other major tech groups developed very similarly Have techniques.
Google, like Microsoft and Amazon Have structures in place, even though the online retailer five months ago Announced That it would start paying tax on the Spanish sales in made in Spain.