Apple’s strategy seems to have paid off once again. The multinational with a capitalization of 2.200 billion euros would have paid only 4 million euros in taxes in France in 2021… According to information reported by Challenges, Monday, June 13, the Apple brand has indeed paid only a few million euros on the activity of its Apple stores in France. This level of taxation is linked to the results of the subsidiary of Apple in France which manages the sales activity in the brand’s store.
However, Apple seems to be experiencing a drastic drop in its turnover in France while its sales are increasing. The latter rose from 708 million euros in 2020 to 565 million in 2021, while the apple brand has never sold so many products in France. In reality, Apple would have developed a very effective tax optimization strategy allowing it to limit its taxes in France. Nothing very new, the brand having already been singled out for paying very little tax in the countries where it is present. To put it simply, the company manages so that the bulk of its activities in France are taxed in Ireland where its European headquarters are located.
To achieve such a low level of taxation, Apple took advantage of a reorganization put in place during the pandemic. “Some of the employees of the stores, which have long remained closed, changed jobs during this period. […] they answered calls in France and made sales by telephone”, explains Albin Voulfow, representative of the CFDT union of the company, to Challenges. However, Apple’s Internet sales, like sales made by telephone, are declared by the Irish subsidiary, a country which has very advantageous taxation for digital technology giants.
This accounting sleight of hand explains why Apple can continue to see its sales increase in France while at the same time the firm declares declining results – while only paying France a few million euros in taxes.