According to an international financial statement filed by Apple, the company manages to pay just 1.9 per cent income tax on its earnings outside the US, meaning it pays a mere £446-odd million in tax on earnings of about £23 billion.

Despite making less the year previous, earning just £15 billion outside the US in the fiscal year ending in 2011, Apple's accountants have managed to keep its tax bill low reports Associated Press. It now pays just 1.9 per cent tax on all that income, compared to 2.5 per cent last year.

By way of comparison, the general corporate tax rate in the US is 35 per cent and around 30 per cent in the UK.

Like any other big corporation, Apple probably pushes its cash through circuitous tax-dodging routes in order to keep the total rate low, and leaves its earnings overseas. How moral such tricks are is, of course, a matter of personal philosophy — though I'm sure plenty of us wish we had the wherewithal to account like Apple. [Associated Press]