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Apple, Amazon, Google accused of avoiding taxes in the UK

Apple is the latest technology company accused of avoiding U.K. taxes, as the company is said to have paid £10 million in corporation tax last year on estimated sales of £6 billion.

Apple was targeted in a new report by the Daily Mail, which noted that the company has a major operation based out of Ireland to take advantage of its low tax rate. The tax rate in Cork is just 12.5 percent, or about half the 24 percent corporate rate in the U.K.

Apple is also said to have an offshoot based out of the Caribbean, where tax rates are favorable in the British Virgin Islands.

The attention on Apple's taxes comes as rival 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 basing its operations out of Ireland for tax purposes, while also bringing money to the U.K. through the Netherlands and Bermuda.

Apple Retail U.K. Ltd was found to have paid taxes of £3.79 million on sales of over £500 million in the fiscal year that concluded in 2010, according to the report. Apple's other primary subsidiary, Apple (U.K.) Ltd., paid another £6.1 million in taxes on sales of nearly £69 million.

Apple's total revenues from the U.K. are not officially known, but it's estimated that the country accounts for 10 percent of the £63 billion the company earned in 2010. That would mean Apple paid about £10 million in taxes on sales of around £6 billion.

Taxes have also been an issue for Apple in the U.S., where the company has called for a repatriation holiday that would allow it to move some of its cash hoard back to the U.S. at a favorable tax rate. Apple has asked the company for an incentive to move its cash, two-thirds of which is housed overseas, back into America, but the requests have gained little traction within the government.