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Apple, Google and Amazon Accused of Tax Evasion

Apple, Amazon and Google have been accused of avoiding U.K. taxes.

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    Could Apple really rule the world?

    Apple is being accused of evading corporate taxes in the U.K. by moving its operations to Ireland, where the tax rate is about half that of Great Britain.

    Apple's tax rate in Cork, Ireland is 12.5 percent, or about half of the 24 percent U.K. corporate rate, according to AppleInsider. Estimates also say that Apple paid only about £10 million in taxes on £6 billion in sales -- but it's not the only technology company under the microscope. Apple joins both Google and Amazon who have also been accused of avoiding U.K. taxes. 
    Amazon is under investigation from the U.K.'s HM Revenue & Customs after it was discovered that the online retailer did not pay any British corporation tax in 2010 or 2011. Amazon was able to avoid taxes after switching its European headquarters to Luxembourg.
    Google has also been "called out" for having Irish, Netherlands and Bermuda operations while selling its wares in Britain.
    In a related story, Apple announced Tuesday that it hired Phillip Bullock, a former senior vice president and chief accounting officer for Symantec, to head its tax department, according to a federal filing. He will officially take up the job on April 30.
    Companies operating out of different countries to take advantage of better tax rates is nothing new, but Apple has such a high profile and huge cash stockpile, that most people -- including European Union authorities -- will be watching Apple's business tactics closely.