A treaty between Australia and New Zealand allowed Apple (AAPL) to pay taxes to the former, but not the latter for a decade.
The tech giant is facing scrutiny for the arrangement that saw its New Zealand unit pay $26 million in taxes to Canberra instead of Wellington since 2007, but Apple has said that it was entirely legal, according to the New Zealand Herald.
Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand co-leader James Shaw told the newspaper it was “absolutely extraordinary” that Apple was “able to get away with paying zero tax” in the country. “It looks like their tax department is even more innovative than their product designers,” he added.
In a statement issued from Australia, Apple said they “follow the law and pay tax on everything [they] earn” and “appreciate and respect the role taxes play as necessary and important.”
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University lecturer and Labour Party candidate Deborah Russell also came to the company’s defense, telling the Herald that Apple was “operating completely legally” and that outcry over the tax arrangement disputed the morality rather than legality of the arrangement.
This isn’t the first time that the world’s second most valuable brand has faced criticism for its tax policies.
In 2014, Apple was slammed for moving much of its international profits offshore to Ireland, where the corporate tax rate is 12.5%.
New Zealand’s Revenue Minister Judith Collins recently announced plans to bolster the country’s tax laws and crackdown on tax avoidance by international corporations.