However, allegations of tax evasion are not so unusual. Over the years, there have been many famous tax evasion cases by individuals and large companies that have caused a stir in public opinion.
Apple evaded taxes
According to its 2017 financial report, Apple earned $44.7 billion from overseas markets but paid only $1.65 billion in taxes to governments, or 3.7%. This rate is less than one-sixth of the average corporate income tax in the world. While Apple is the leading technology company in the world, that number is too small.
However, the Paradise file (International Association of Investigative Journalists) shows that Apple took advantage of a loophole in tax policy to ensure tax evasion and collect all profits from foreign markets.
To avoid taxes, Apple established subsidiaries Apple Sales International (ASI) and Apple Operations International (AOI) in a specific country without moving the entire company’s operations to that country. This allows Apple to avoid paying corporate taxes in countries around the world, minus sales taxes.
Only when Apple in Ireland was exposed to tax evasion did the above activities come to light. Then, under pressure from the European Commission, Apple in Ireland had to collect $15 billion in arrears and $1.4 billion in profits.
Super sophisticated tax evasion mission of Google
The world’s technology giant Google also sought to embezzle taxes with a very sophisticated way to make European public opinion discontent and aroused a strong wave of protests.
At the end of 2015, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) revealed that the foreign branches of this company had pocketed $43 billion in taxes.
By taking advantage of the “tax loopholes” of some regions, Google has transferred huge revenue to branches around the world. Google transferred $12 billion to a subsidiary in the Netherlands.
In the UK, officials also investigated that within 10 years, Google understated tax declarations of up to 187 million USD. After that, Australia also started investigating this unit.
According to the annual report, Google declared the tax payable in 2011 less than $2.6 billion. This number is still too small compared to the actual amount of tax that Google has to pay.
Britain’s biggest F1 tycoon Bernie Ecclestone
F1 tycoon Bernie Ecclestone was charged with tax evasion in 2014 and is considered the largest tax fraud in British history and the history of the tax industry in the world.
The Formula 1 racing mogul evaded taxes by transferring most of his fortune to his ex-wife Slavica in 1996. This huge fortune was later transferred to the Ecclestone family company in Liechtenstein.
Therefore, he is not responsible for paying taxes on the profits of the company and is not involved with this company although he still secretly controls the operation.
The investigative agency had to monitor for 9 years to get the tycoon’s loopholes and came to a judgment that the tycoon had to pay 10 million pounds. However, many people believe that this amount of money to Mr. Ecclestone is just salt from the sea. This figure should have been £1.2 billion.
Nissan CEO evaded taxes and the dramatic escape
Carlos Ghosn, a 65-year-old former chairman with French, Brazilian, and Lebanese citizenship, was arrested and fired by Nissan in November 2018 for allegedly making false statements about his income and misuse of company assets. He was released on bail in March 2019 but was re-arrested on charges of misappropriating Nissan money.
At the end of April 2019, Ghosn paid $ 8.9 million in bail to be released on bail but had to comply with strict regulations, including being monitored 24/7 by a camera system outside his home, banned from leaving the country.
However, this case attracted attention not because of the amount of money fraud, but about Mr. Ghosn’s dramatic escape.
Former Nissan chairman on December 31, 2019, announced that he had fled to the capital Beirut, Lebanon to escape Japan’s “rigged justice system.”
Japanese officials did not specify how Mr. Ghosn left the country, but Lebanese media have published some information about the defection like an action movie.
According to Lebanon’s MTV, an unidentified group of people posed as musicians to perform at a dinner party at Ghosn’s home. The former Nissan chairman then hid in a large box, believed to be used to hold a contrabass (usually 188 cm high), to escape.
Former President Donald Trump’s taxes are too low
In September, the New York Times achieved the seemingly impossible: They obtained the US President Donald Trump’s tax returns and what they found was “very unusual”, including Perhaps the most infuriating is the revelation that in 2016 and 2017, Mr. Trump paid only $750 in federal taxes.
And for nearly two decades before that, Mr. Trump also had to pay no federal taxes because his businesses suffered huge losses. At the time, the Trump Organization claimed most of the New York Times data was inaccurate and that Trump had paid millions of dollars in personal taxes to the federal government.
Volkswagen “legally” evaded taxes
Volkswagen is Germany’s most profitable car company, but at least part of that is thanks to tax incentives. Thanks to its subsidiary in Belgium, Volkswagen Group Services has not had to pay a single penny of tax in the country.
In 2012, the group did not have to pay tax on profits of more than 153 million euros ($191 million). The figure for 2011 was 141 million euros. It is worth mentioning that this tax agreement has so far remained legal and will only change until the EU implements its plans to reform its tax system.
Starbucks: Being boycotted due to tax evasion
At the beginning of 2014, a report showed that the revenue of Starbucks, the world’s largest coffee shop chain, fell for the first time since entering the UK market in 1998.
The group has been criticized for deliberately “dodging” taxes in the UK, prompting many British consumers to boycott Starbucks stores.
Controversy over Starbucks deliberately “dodging” corporate tax in the UK broke out after the results of a four-month investigation conducted by Reuters news agency and published in October 2012 showed Starbucks revenue of 637. .2 million USD in the Land of Mist in 2011 but this corporation does not pay any corporate tax.
According to Reuters, Starbucks has had more than $4.8 billion in sales in the UK market since 1998, but the company has paid less than 1% tax.
Another source said Starbucks has paid a total of £8.6 million ($13.7 million) in corporate tax since the company started doing business in the UK in 2008.
In 2011, Starbucks did not pay any tax despite sales of nearly 400 million pounds ($640 million).
Bill Gates and the tax evasion conspiracy theory around the Charity Foundation
Founded in 2000, thanks to the couple’s reputation and their relationship, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation quickly raised $50 billion in funding.
However, not all activities of Bill Gates are fully supported. There have been many articles claiming that the Gates Foundation is just a cover for tax evasion or asset transfer between billionaires.
Bill Gates is also a victim of many conspiracy theories. Conspiracy theories related to Bill Gates often have very fictional theories, such as that he pre-installed the chip inside the Covid-19 vaccine to monitor humanity, or use 5G waves to control people remotely.