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 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 [...]

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