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The questions submitted by Apple read as though the company feared its tax bills might increase in the future. They suggest Apple was exploring whether to establish bases in tax havens. It had a few places in mind, all of which were known more for their tax laws than their IT experts. These included the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, the Isle of Man and two Channel Islands, Guernsey and Jersey. But the conditions had to be just right, the email made clear. Apple wanted to be sure it could conduct management activities there “without being subject to taxation in your jurisdiction.” The company also wanted official confirmation. “Is it possible to obtain an official assurance of tax exemption?” Apple inquired through Baker McKenzie about how transparent it would need to be in the tax havens as well. “What information has to be filed periodically?” it asked, and: “What information is publicly visible?”

It’s not every day that a global corporation is so openly brazen about its business practices and interests.