Apple, the world's most valuable firm, has revealed that it pays only two per cent corporation tax outside the US in its form 10-K filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). To put this into context, the UK corporation tax rate is 24 per cent, while Germany's is 29.48 per cent and China's is 25 per cent.
The form shows that the company behind the wildly successful iPad, among other products, paid $713m (£445m) in the latest financial year on foreign pre-tax profits of $36.8bn (£23bn), a rate of 1.9 per cent.
Apple is not alone in its – entirely legal – tax avoidance schemes. In recent weeks, Google, Starbucks and Facebook have all been shown to pay low rates of overseas tax.
The revelation comes at an unhelpful time for Apple, which is in the midst of a restructuring process as relatively new CEO Tim Cook clears out many of the senior executives appointed by the late Steve Jobs, in order to install his own team.
Among those to leave are senior vice-president of iOS Scott Forstall.
Also, the UK Court of Appeal has ordered Apple to edit the statement acknowledging that Samsung did not infringe Apple's tablet design intellectual property and to publish it directly on its UK home page.
Apple's original statement, which it was ordered to make, was deemed unsatisfactory by the court.