Apple fined heavily for Chinese tax evasion

Apple's surging popularity will come with a hefty price.

The popularity of the iPhone 6 helped lead Apple to massive sales China as the rest of the market suffered its first decline there in six years. The success of Apple in the Asian nation may not be completely honest, however, as the Minister of Finance demanded millions in unpaid taxes.

On Thursday, state-run publication Xinhua News Agency reported that the tech giant failed to pay 452 million Yuan ($71M USD) in taxes in 2013. To add further insult to injury, the Minister of Finance announced another $65 million yuan ($10M USD) fine as a result of the tax evasion.

The news agency stated Apple's Chinese subsidiary had played down its 2013 revenue and cost figures by 8.8 billion yuan ($1.4M USD) and 3.4 billion yuan ($532,000 USD) respectively. The company are also accused of inflating its posted profits by 5.4 billion yuan ($846,000 USD).

An Apple spokesman told CNBC ensured that it was a mishap, and that the company had no intention to evade taxes.

“During an audit of our 2013 operations, a difference in interpretation of a tax rule resulted in a balance due, which we paid with interest. We pay all the taxes we owe wherever we do business."

The move comes as China continues to crack down on multinational tech companies for failing to pay taxes. In 2014, Microsoft was forced to pay huge fines after using cross-border tax evasion techniques, after the company reported six consecutive years of losses totaling 2 billion Yuan.

China’s latest move on Apple will surely send a clear message to any other companies who will surely be double-checking their tax returns in the future.

Source: CNET

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