Apple moved to Jersey two of its key subsidiaries, Apple Sales International and Apple Operations International, while another structure, Apple Operations Ireland, became resident in Ireland.
Apple said it believes comprehensive global tax reform is essential, and that it has for many years been advocating for simplification of the tax code.
The moves came after a U.S. Senate subcommittee found in 2013 that Apple had avoided tens of billions of dollars in taxes by using overseas havens.
But the iPhone maker still won't say how much profit it makes through its Irish companies - making it impossible to gauge whether $1.5bn is a lot of tax to pay in three years or not. The company has resisted bringing the money back to the US because of the massive tax bill it would face.
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On Monday night, a Panorama report on the so-called Paradise Papers claimed that two subsidiaries of Apple were relocated to the Island to keep $252 billion of untaxed cash offshore. It's believed that one of those companies holds the majority of Apple's massive stash of cash on hand, which is up to $268.9 billion according to the company's most recent quarterly earnings report.
- Britain's Queen Elizabeth II has, through the Duchy of Lancaster which provides her income and handles her investments, placed around £10 million ($13 million, €11.3 million) of her private money in funds held in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda.
"The changes we made did not reduce our tax payments in any country", Josh Rosenstock told the Times.
Apple's offshore cash holdings [Chart: courtesy of SEC Filings] At the time lawmakers in Ireland (where Apple now keeps nearly all of its money) were cracking down on multinationals operating Irish subsidiaries for tax purposes, including Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, other tech companies and drugmakers like Abbott Laboratories.
According to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalist disclosed in the Paradise Paper, Apple got suspicious when the European Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager started investigation in 2014. "We've paid over $35bn in corporate income taxes over the past three years, plus billions of dollars more in property tax, payroll tax, sales tax and Vat", it said. As Breitbart News reported in June 2016: "Tech companies, including Apple, Cisco Systems and Google pay lower overseas tax rates than their non-tech USA peers, such as Boeing or Johnson & Johnson".
"Additional tax is then also due in the United States when the earnings are repatriated", the statement said. In 2014, Apple paid a tax rate of 0.005 percent.