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Apple’s Tax Evasion Problem Down Under

The tech giant is facing hundreds of millions in fines.

New iPhone

U.S. tech giant Apple is running into a considerable amount of legal trouble in Australia as it faces charges of violating consumers’ rights and tax evasion.

The Dail Mail reported how Apple and two other multinational tech giants were hit with a “massive $3 billion bill for unpaid taxes.”

The Australian Taxation Office has sent each multinational a bill between $250 million and $800 million after an investigation into offshore ‘debt dumping’, The Daily Telegraph reported.

For their part, Apple claimed that they have complied with the tax law in Australia.

However, Ausralian Financial Services Minister Kelly O’Dwyer said the government “would fight the companies in Federal Court after some reportedly said they would not pay up.”

Adding to Apple’s troubles in the land Down Under is a CNN report about how Australia’s consumer watchdog is suing Apple for violating consumers’ rights. According to CNN, Apple refused “to service certain iPhones and iPads that were disabled by a software update.”

After downloading the software update and connecting their iPhone or iPad to a computer, hundreds of users got an “error 53” message saying that “the device could not be restored, and the device had stopped functioning,” according to a court filing by the commission.

Between September 2014 and February 2016, consumers who tried to get their devices fixed were told if they had previously been repaired by someone other than Apple, “no Apple entity … was required to, or would, remedy the fault” for free, the filing says.

According to CNN the consumer watchdog, “had identified 275 consumers affected by Apple’s alleged refusal of service.” Apple could be forced to pay each consumer $1.1 million Australian dollars, roughly the equivalent of $228 million American dollars.