Somebody really needs to explain the tax system to The Mail and Vince Cable

This is simply absurd from the Daily Mail:

Apple has paid barely 1 per cent tax on its UK sales, despite raking in £7.5billion here since the iPhone launched, a Daily Mail investigation has found.

Britain doesn't have a turnover tax on companies - VAT is paid by the consumer. Britain does have a profits tax and thus whatever the tax paid is determined by those profits, not turnover.

Sadly, Vince Cable gets worse:

Last night, critics said Apple's apparent determination to avoid contributing was a scandal that shamed international business.

Former Lib Dem business secretary Sir Vince Cable said: 'It's absolutely outrageous that the tax base doesn't reflect economic activity and is based on artificial declarations of profits.

'Taxation has become voluntary for these companies, and the tax base has got to change.'

As HMRC has pointed out more than once this is how the current profit tax system operates, it taxes profits where the economic activity which produces them takes place.

Consider what makes Apple's profits. It's not selling a phone after all. We can all go and buy some landfill Android for £20. The reason people buy Apple is some mixture of the brand, the design, the software and so on. All of which are "made" in California. And thus the profits from that are taxed in the US, as the national taxation regime, and in California, the local one, under whatever the rules in place for the taxation of profits there are. No, we don't get to whine about Bermuda, repatriation or whatever, that's all the US tax system, not us.

This is not some failure of the corporate taxation system, this is the very purpose of it. Profits are taxed to reflect the economic activity which produces them. This is what Vince wants, this is what Vince has, so why is he complaining? It couldn't be that he's just a politico on the stump, could it?