Sep 17 2011

This is what Apple Itunes Europe looks like

Posted by: Nick Shaxson in: Thoughts

Courtesy of the French site OWNI (hat tip Mathieu), I have been pointed to a page on the Apple website containing a little detail:

Contacting iTunes
iTunes SARL
8 rue Heinrich Heine
L-1720 Luxembourg, Company Reg No: B 101 120,  VAT No: LU 20165772

The mighty European domicile for this major part of what was briefly the world’s biggest company looks like this, apparently:

The original OWNI story that points to this letterbox contains a lot of useful colour (and for non-French speakers there is a slightly hilarious translation available here.) As with most corporate giants whose key operations look like this, the diligent OWNI reporters get the brush-off:

You have to get authorisation from our hierarchy before anyone can reply to your questions, since a lot of things are confidential.

Well yes, this is, after all, Luxembourg, which was ranked a staggering number 2 in the 2009 global Financial Secrecy Index (FSI, with another updated and exciting FSI due to be published in a couple of weeks). And anyone who’s followed Europe’s efforts to push for financial transparency will know that Luxembourg is a big, nasty and vicious defender of financial secrecy, and a major fighter in defence of tax injustices.

OWNI says Itunes is a VAT dodge, with the company having informally negotiated its VAT rate down to six percent – though there may be a transfer pricing element too. I haven’t researched this, and I unfortunately don’t have time right now. It’s a Saturday today, after all, and I ought to be off out to catch the (taxpayer-funded and highly efficient) tram to the (taxpayer-funded and very nice) swimming pool.

5 comments so far

[...] tax haven businesses (Itunes Europe, 8 Rue Heinrich Heine, a subsidiary of Apple, Inc. that I’ve blogged before.) [...]

Auguste 12th December, 2012 2.57 pm

Why is Shaxson living in Zurich (Switzerland) ?

Afraid of “prosecution” ?

Tax planning for himself ?

Nick Shaxson 12th December, 2012 9.14 am

if you can’t handle the message, shoot at the messenger. reasons for this are in plain view, here on this site http://treasureislands.org/the-author/ Professionally speaking, I’d be best off in London, the world’s biggest tax haven – but I’m here. Family compromise.

Auguste 1st January, 2013 10.01 pm

Relax man, it`s all good … just asking. Zürich is a nice place to live, so all the best to you and your project.

[...] million ($508 million) in 2009 to €2.05 billion in 2013. The Luxembourg company – which is little more than a letterbox – leverages the sales of digital goods through iTunes, and allows Apple to record iTunes sales to [...]

Leave a comment