One Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) retail store in London was recently targeted by a tax protest group led by comedian Mark Thomas. He led a flash mob at the flagship store on Regent Street as a way to protest Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s tax avoidance.
Apple CEO’s Defense
In May, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s chief executive officer Tim Cook defended his company’s usage of tax loopholes in Ireland. These loopholes lower the tax exposure. One of those loopholes involved Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) Sales International paying $10 million in sales income instead of $74 billion in 2011.
50 activists joined Mark Thomas at the Regent store. They had an Irish-themed party with Irish flags and a three piece band playing a sing-along version of Irish Rover. The picket group also brandished banners which read “Take a tax holiday in Ireland” and let Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) customers know they could purchase the same goods at the John Lewis department store. Just last year, Andy Street(the department store’s managing director) called on the local government to address tax avoidance.
There was a video posted from the protest event on YouTube. In the video, Thomas tells the crowd, “
It’s great we made a little bit of impact. We’re just saying that we’re not prepared for companies to operate and pay no tax. You have to pay your fair share. It’s austerity, and multinationals who are turning over billions of pounds of profit have got to make sure they pay their bit. And if they are tax dodgers and tax avoiders, we will make a scene and we will scream and shout as much as we can until we get this people to actually pay tax and put into the system, rather than take out.”
It’s important to point out that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) hasn’t dodged paying taxes, although they have found a way to pay less taxes. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has yet to release a statement regarding the tax protest in front of their Regent store.