Apple Owing France $6.5 Million in Unpaid Taxes

Apple appears to be having another tax problem as the company has been charged $6.5 million in taxes by a French professional association that collects revenue for artists’ copyrighted works. According to the French organization called SACEM, the company neglected to pay 5 million euros on royalty taxes related to iPads sold in France in 2011.

The charge appears to be coming from a tax that applies in a number of countries across Europe, including France and Germany. It is applying to all digital devices that can be used with copyrighted material. That tax goes to SACEM, and the organization is the one which divvies out the money among the various authors, producers, and other creative folks.


It seems that Apple charged the SACEM fee to consumers who bought iPads in 2011. However, the company failed to pay out the tax itself. Therefore, the Grand Instance Court of Paris has issued a judgment against the company asking it to pay 6.5$ million to Copie France, €2.2 million less than the €7.2 million the agency demanded. However, that the case could be appealed, as The Paris High Court is a court of the first instance.

This is not the first time in recent weeks that Apple has tax related problems as the company found itself in a U.S. Senate hearing last month, being accused of improperly sheltering money from taxes. The claim was denied by CEO Tim Cook, who stated that Apple pays all the taxes it owes, complying not only with the law, but also with the spirit of the law.

It appears that the $6.5 million sum being charged in France is minuscule in comparison with billions, in taxes that many believe Apple should pay in the U.S.

The problem that Apple and SACEM seem to have is just one more example of governments cracking down on tax avoidance. Google also had problems in France in 2011, when the company’s French offices were raided to see if it truly had not conducted tax-liable sales work. As a result, Google was asked to pay 1.7 billion euros in back-taxes.

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