Apple moved profits to tax haven Jersey after Ireland crackdown: reports

After drawing scrutiny for its use of tax loopholes in Ireland in 2013, Apple (AAPL) came up with another plan: find another tax haven that wasn't in the spotlight.

The technology giant subsequently revamped its overseas subsidiaries to take advantage of favorable tax laws on the European island of Jersey, according to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and The New York Times.

"Under this arrangement, the MacBook-maker has continued to enjoy ultra-low tax rates on most of its profits and now holds much of its non-U.S. earnings in a $252 billion mountain of cash offshore," the ICIJ said in a report.

The news outlet and the non-profit investigative organization cited confidential records that were obtained by the German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung and with the ICIJ. The documents, dubbed the "Paradise Papers," were released this weekend.

The documents follow up on the disclosures revealed last year in the Panama Papers, a leak that linked politicians, actors and billionaires to a web of offshore holdings. While offshore accounts aren't necessarily illegal, critics say they can help corporations and the rich hide assets and avoid taxes.

The moves came after a U.S. Senate subcommittee found in 2013 that Apple had avoided tens of billions of dollars in taxes by using overseas havens. The paper said Apple has $128 billion in offshore profits untaxed by the U.S.

Apple moved the tax home of two Irish subsidiaries to Jersey, a self-governing island in the English Channel between Britain and France. Like many tax havens in the Caribbean, Jersey collects no tax on profits for most companies.

"U.S. multinational firms are the global grandmasters of tax avoidance schemes that deplete not just U.S. tax collection but the tax collection of most every large economy in the world," Edward Kleinbard, a former corporate lawyer who is now a professor of tax law at the University of Southern California, told the ICIJ.

Apple didn't immediately comment to The Associated Press. A company spokesman told the Times that the company told regulators in the U.S. and European Commission of the reorganization of its Irish subsidiaries at the end of 2014 and said the moves did not reduce its tax payments in any country.

Apple said to the paper that it complies with laws and supports comprehensive international tax reform and a simpler tax system.

The Paradise Papers represent corporate records spanning decades from a global offshore law firm called Appleby and corporate services provider Estera, which split from Appleby in 2016. More than a century old, Appleby helps its clients by setting up offshore entities such as shell companies and trusts, according to the ICIJ. 

In a statement, Appleby said its firm hasn't done anything illegal

"There is no wrongdoing. It is a patchwork quilt of unrelated allegations with a clear political agenda and movement against offshore," the company said.