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Government The Almighty Buck United States Apple

Tim Cook Calls Apple's Tax Questions 'Political Crap' (cbsnews.com) 456

nerdyalien writes: Apple CEO Tim Cook dismissed as "total political crap" the notion that the tech giant was avoiding taxes. Cook's remarks, made on CBS' 60 Minutes show, come amid a debate in the United States over corporations avoiding taxes through techniques such as so-called inversion deals, where a company redomiciles its tax base to another country. Apple holds $181.1 billion in offshore profits, more than any other U.S. company, and would owe an estimated $59.2 billion in taxes if it tried to bring the money back to the U.S., a recent study based on SEC filings showed. The current tax code was made for the industrial age, and not the "digital age," Cook said.
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Tim Cook Calls Apple's Tax Questions 'Political Crap'

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Any day now there will be a startup which "fixes" the tax code.

  • Needs an Update (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    The current tax code was made for the industrial age, and not the "digital age," Cook said.

    Then we should update the tax code and close the loopholes Apple and every single other large corporation has been abusing in the process.

    And then make you pay the taxes you owe, retroactively, Tim, if you're going to try and be a smartass about it.

    • Another case of foolish talk from Tim Cook. Apple needs a new CEO.

      There have been other seriously bad communications errors at Apple since Tim Cook has been in charge. Apparently, even though Tim Cook worked with Steve Jobs for years, Mr. Cook did not learn about marketing communication from Mr. Jobs.
  • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo.world3@net> on Sunday December 20, 2015 @05:41AM (#51153133) Homepage

    Did anyone expect him to say "yeah, actually we feel bad about it and will be paying a few billion of what we owe next year"?

    • by frnic ( 98517 ) on Sunday December 20, 2015 @10:13AM (#51153823)

      Except they don't "owe" it. They pay 100% of the taxes they owe. If you feel they should OWE more, then stop voting for people that keep giving them more ways to pay less taxes.

      If you could cut your tax bill in half and didn't, you would simply be stupid, if Apple does it, they are criminals.

      • Yep.

        You don't owe tax when you own the people who make the tax law and they make it so you don't owe the tax.

        All entirely legal. Which proves that what is legal is not necessarily the right thing.

  • Money for nothin... (Score:2, Informative)

    by DCFusor ( 1763438 )
    Not a fanboy of Apple or most (all?) of the big corps myself, but it seems people are too dim to realize there's no "their money" for governments to take (and waste). It's our money. Corporations run at whatever profit, period - Apple being prime in the case of simply setting prices high enough to get the margins they desire, and people paying them whatever.
    .

    "It doesn't work like that."

    Taxing them more simply means higher prices for all the customers. That would be us, not them. If they keep prices th

    • by cyber-vandal ( 148830 ) on Sunday December 20, 2015 @06:27AM (#51153251) Homepage

      Why should Apple or any other corporation get all the benefits of a developed nation including limited liability and patents when they're doing their level best to avoid paying for those benefits? If they want to play these tax avoidance games they should have those benefits withdrawn.

      • by s.petry ( 762400 ) on Sunday December 20, 2015 @01:33PM (#51154689)

        There is a huge tax problem in the US. There is an 80,000 page tax code, where 79,500(1) are favoritism, cronyism, and the results of bribery. Yeah, Apple should probably be paying more, but given the current tax code they are working within the law. You don't have to like it, but if that was not the case people would be in jail for tax evasion (especially given the amount of money we are discussing).

        Not only does all this favoritism mean that companies like Apple legally pay a fraction of what small businesses pay, but there is something worse afoot. Namely, that there is a massive economy built on top of this pile of corruption. I laugh when I hear people talk about flat tax or "fixing" the tax code because they ignore that the US has at least 50Billion dollars a year relying on our current corrupt tax system.

        A flat tax, or even corrections to make the tax code fair, are going to put massive numbers of CPAs, Attorneys, and Accountants out of work. The few people leaving from the IRS that you hear about on rare occasions is quite frankly peanuts. Where does everyone employed by H&R Block, Quickbooks, Kiplingers, and thousands of Law firms work if we fix the tax code? Those are some high paying jobs too, so lots of middle class income requires them to be there or they take a massive hit as well.

        While I absolutely want fairness, if shitty laws are on the books why is it wrong to follow the law exactly? We need to fix it, but it's not like waving a magic wand or voting for "that guy/gal" will fix the problems. I'll get off my soap box.

        (1) Giving 500 pages for title, cover page, index, and boasting by writers

    • by GuB-42 ( 2483988 ) on Sunday December 20, 2015 @06:31AM (#51153261)

      Tax money is your money too. So less tax for companies means more tax for you. And I'd rather have more expensive iPhones than higher taxes, because if I don't buy iPhones, why should I pay more taxes so that others can get cheaper iPhones.
      Actually who pay the taxes doesn't matter much, however big companies doing tax avoidance are unfair. Smaller, local companies still get to pay full tax, effectively paying for others trickery.

      • by pnutjam ( 523990 )
        Thank you, well said. All these "armchair" economists think they understand the issue and throw out their spherical cow arguments...
        half the time their cow is a cone and they don't even know it.
      • by ArchieBunker ( 132337 ) on Sunday December 20, 2015 @09:08AM (#51153625) Homepage

        Say Apple did pay those $60 billion in taxes. Would I see the end results of that? Would they pave some of the awful roads around here or fix some of the bridges with an "F" rating? In my daily life it would make absolutely no difference at all.

        • Say Apple did pay those $60 billion in taxes. Would I see the end results of that? Would they pave some of the awful roads around here or fix some of the bridges with an "F" rating? In my daily life it would make absolutely no difference at all.

          When you or I pay taxes, we have little to no say in how that money is spent, because we are too poor to lobby individually. At best, we can influence policy by contributing to a lobby which we hope will represent our interests. When a corporation like Apple pays taxes, they have substantial say in how the money is spent, because they have substantial say in how the money is spent even when they don't pay their fair share of taxes. They can afford to lobby, which is in fact how corporations got tax dodges i

    • by golodh ( 893453 ) on Sunday December 20, 2015 @07:04AM (#51153333)
      @DCFusor

      Some people actually seem to believe that "Corporations run at whatever profit, period", and would like to imply that those corporations owe nothing to the society they are based in.

      Of course that's total nonsense as a moment's reflection will show.

      Corporations aren't islands. They are built on a solid foundation provided by society, embedded in that society, fed and protected by that society. In Apple's case that would be the US. They owe that society for all the things they cannot do or provide for themselves but are only too happy to take for granted.

      An educated workforce, the ideas that they built their business on (more often than not based on government or semi-government research at some stage), a legal system that grants them all kinds of rights (contract rights, property rights, copyrights, patents) and protects them if and when those rights are infringed on (both nationally and internationally), a huge part of their market (no company can exist without clients affluent enough to purchase its products/services), a culture in which their products are valued (what's Apple's market share in India?), an ecosystem of suppliers and service-providers, a reliable currency, network and communication infrastructure, roads, ports, transport, housing for its operations and its workforce, etc. etc..

      The bill that society at large presents to them for all that vital infrastructure is known as "Tax". And, companies being companies, would rather minimize that bill any way they can.

      CEO's for example are paid to help their company increase its revenue and reduce expense. The issue of what's fair or reasonable never even comes up. Any anything that increases profitability (and doesn't result in said CEO being convicted and/or jailed) goes. Companies have no responsibility for anything whatsoever except their bottom line. Of course they understand that they can't do without the society they are rooted in. Only, as with any supplier, they try to talk the price down. Even if that hurts the society they are so busy benefiting from. That doesn't make them "immoral", but it does make them firmly "a-moral".

      It is in that light that we should view their comments about "Tax being just political bs.". It's their job to say that; it's in their interest to say that; they're paid to say that. So that's what they say. They might even believe that (a job requirement perhaps?). They couldn't be less concerned with considerations as to whether that's true, reasonable, or fair.

      The sad and risible fact is that there still are Americans (not being CEO's) who haven't spotted these simple facts and actually lend credence to rah-rah-taxes-are-a-waste sloganeering.

      • "Some people actually seem to believe that "Corporations run at whatever profit, period""

        That's because that's exactly what happen: as you already said, companies are strictly amoral. Another discussion should be that people are *not* amoral, so this probably means CEOs are, in fact, immoral and the fact that immoral people are praised as "successful achievers" says quite a lot more about our society than about the companies they run.

        It also happens that such an assertion works both ways: corporations in f

      • by jmac_the_man ( 1612215 ) on Sunday December 20, 2015 @08:34AM (#51153509)

        It is in that light that we should view their comments about "Tax being just political bs.". It's their job to say that; it's in their interest to say that; they're paid to say that.

        Cook didn't say that TAXES are political BS. He said that the QUESTION is political BS. It's a real example of begging the question. The question assumes that Apple owes $50.2B in taxes on overseas profit. They don't owe that money, so it's a BS questions.

        I hate Apple and all their works and all their empty promises, but Tim Cook is 100% right about this.

        • by dwpro ( 520418 )

          Is that so? It appears to me that the money is in tax purgatory. Considering the sub-licensing of IP shell game, how are you 100% sure?

        • by golodh ( 893453 )

          The question assumes that Apple owes $50.2B in taxes on overseas profit. They don't owe that money

          Not so fast there ... the last I read about this is that Apple is suspected of tax-avoidance. I.e. deliberately setting up a network of purely administrative companies and trading in purely adminstrative "products" with no other purpose than to prevent overseas profits from showing up in Apple's accounts under a heading that would make them taxable in the US.

          From a letter-of-the-law find-the-legal-loophole-

      • by Wovel ( 964431 )

        He didn't say Taxes are political BS. He said people saying Apple doesn't pay taxes is political BS. Apple is the largest tax payer in the US.

    • by turbidostato ( 878842 ) on Sunday December 20, 2015 @08:21AM (#51153479)

      "Taxing them more simply means higher prices for all the customers. That would be us, not them. If they keep prices the same, it means less investment by them in jobs, or higher prices for us, period. "

      Euhhh... nope, this isn't the case, you can read it in the topic's brief: "Apple holds $181.1 billion in offshore profits". That is, Apple holds $181.1 billion that neither goes to jobs, nor R&D, nor nothing: it's just money sitting in a bank, which means you just could tax Apple $181.1 billion and they still shouldn't need to fire any employee, nor close any R&D program, nor rise its products' prices in the least.

      Of course, I'm not saying we should tax any company for whatever their net profits are, nor that my "plain" explanation is quite naive, just that doing so wouldn't be the hell you are purporting. You also say "At any rate, a tax on them is simply a tax on the customers in the end" which, in fact, it isn't: any company making more than "fair" profit can indeed lower it (i.e. because of increased taxes) without touching their price tags. All they need is having competition which feels comfortable with that lower profit level.

    • Taxing them more simply means higher prices for all the customers. That would be us, not them.

      Apple is already charging their costumers for literally and figuratively imaginary properties of its products.
      They are charging customers for the Apple IMAGE.

      To the people who are image shopping increase of price means diddly squat.
      Or they are not really serious about keeping up their image of whatever Apple products mean out there.
      Cool? Hip? Creative? Expensive? Better than others?

      So... Making Apple pay what they owe would either have no effect on their sales - or Apple would suddenly stop being cool and o

    • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Sunday December 20, 2015 @09:11AM (#51153635) Homepage Journal

      Taxing them more simply means higher prices for all the customers. That would be us, not them.

      I see this misconception bandied about freely often by people who are attempting to sell a line of bullshit, and that's precisely what this is. The first sentence is fine. Yes, taxing them more means higher prices for the customers. The second sentence is cockery. When you make the corporations pay taxes, we only pay more for those goods when we buy those goods. I can easily choose not to purchase Apple hardware — in fact, I have never bought any of it new, and haven't owned a Mac in almost a decade — and then I do not pay those taxes. Only the people who buy the products do. That is why taxing the corporations is the absolute best solution in every way; the costs of paying the taxes are baked into the corporation's products and services, and then only their customers have to pay. So in fact, your conclusion is diametrically opposed to the truth; taxing the corporations is the only way that the taxes aren't paid by "us", meaning We The People. Instead, the corporations are only paid for by "them", meaning the people who buy the products. Trying to lump all of The People together in cases where that clearly does not make sense is a logical fallacy, and you're trying to sell us a line of bullshit.

      TL;DR: It's good when taxes are baked into the prices of products, because then only the people who purchase those products have to pay for the taxes, as opposed to the situation where you permit corporations to avoid taxes, and then the middle class has to bear the majority of the tax burden directly even when they are frugal.

      • by lgw ( 121541 )

        And when you tax energy companies? Raw material companies? Transportation companies? Builders? Consumer products are just one industry out of many. And you realize that consumption-based taxes are regressive, right?

        I understand your plan: "tax everyone but me! yay! it's free!". But in addition to your plan being evil, it's also wrong.

    • by arkhan_jg ( 618674 ) on Sunday December 20, 2015 @10:08AM (#51153807)

      Taxing them more simply means higher prices for all the customers.

      Well that's simply horseshit. Paying their taxes increases their costs. Apple make a lot of profit, so paying taxes would reduce that profit. Profit is used for a lot of things; salary increases (rarely), growing the business by investing in new product designs, more staff etc etc, put in the bank for a rainy day, or paid to the shareholders in dividends or via share buy-back schemes.

      Apple has stupendous amounts of past profit stashed away as cash reserves in offshore banks, because it doesn't have anything else it can think of to do with it.

      Increasing prices to pay their taxes, rather than take a slightly smaller profit makes no sense, because their revenues already far outstrip costs. If a higher price would be more profitable for them (vs decreasing sales), they'd already be charging it.

      Apple, like Google, Vodafone, Amazon and any number of multinationals pay hardly any tax in the countries that buy their products. They make their revenue from western countries, but use complex arrangements with shell corporations, intra-company loans, licence payments etc so that those profits are then recorded in 0-tax tiny countries. Thus much higher profits - which ultimately largely end up going to the shareholders (which of course, includes the CEO and other top management). The shareholders are largely already the wealthy, because they're the only ones able to use their money to invest in large amounts of shares instead of you know, buying stuff to live on. Even if the money doesn't go directly out in dividends, it's used to increase the share prices, which has the same effect.

      So instead of paying for the infrastructure they use in western countries, for the social safety nets their workers have in europe etc, for the educations their workers get, by paying the pitiful amounts of tax rates they actually should - they divert them to offshore holdings and they end up making the already rich richer.

      It's incredibly regressive. In addition, smaller national companies can't pull the same tricks, have lower profits to invest in growing their business, and is a good part of the reason the big multinationals got so big in the first place and displace smaller companies from the marketplace. Who, incidentally, also pay better wages on average.

      UK corporation tax rate is 18%, hardly extortionate for the amount they benefit from selling in the UK. And hardly any of the multinationals actually pay anything like that rate, many pay nothing at all - meaning us working stiffs have to pick up the difference to pay for the NHS, roads, police, firemen, social security, pensions etc etc etc, all of which have been under heavy pressure precisely because the government isn't getting enough taxes in to pay for our already thinly stretched services.

      Companies in the 50's and 60's used to include social responsibility for their workforce and their communities as part of their thinking - they knew that having customers able to afford their products was a good thing for them in the long run. Now it's all about maximising share price in the shortest possible time, and screw the long term, the workforce, the customer and anyone other than the very richest.

    • by ehynes ( 617617 ) on Sunday December 20, 2015 @10:40AM (#51153927) Homepage

      Taxing them more simply means higher prices for all the customers. That would be us, not them. If they keep prices the same, it means less investment by them in jobs, or higher prices for us, period.

      . Wrong. There's a third and obvious option, lower profits. Apple's profit margin isn't some fixed value and higher expenses (e.g. increased tax payments) can't arbitrarily be covered by raising prices or cutting expenses elsewhere. If Apple could raise prices as easily as you imply they would have already done so to maximize their profits. If Apple could cut their expenses somewhere (e.g. salaries) in a way that wouldn't affect their profits they would have already done so to maximize their profits.

    • Taxing them more simply means higher prices for all the customers.

      There is limited elasticity. Also assumes Apple products are influenced by supply/demand, which they are not.

      See Veblen Goods: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

  • They are not U.S. profits. The U.S. has no right to tax them uuntil and unless Apple does something stupid, and converts them into U.S. profits.

    Is there anything Apple could spend that money on in the U.S.?

    It's not like they are going to build factories in the U.S. and raise their costs of production by complying with U.S. environmental laws, or hiring more expensive U.S. workers.

    Even if they did bring it back to the U.S. as profits, and offset the environmental costs by subtracting out the shipping costs

    • They are not U.S. profits. The U.S. has no right to tax them uuntil and unless Apple does something stupid, and converts them into U.S. profits.

      Then the U.S. would have no problem assessing a tariff to offset (and possibly penalize) such re-domiciled U.S. profits.

      Like Steve Jobs told Obama in Feb 2011, when Obama asked what it would take to manufacture Apple products in the U.S. ("Why can’t that work come home?") -- the answer is: “Those jobs aren’t coming back.”

      Crank up the pain high enough and they will. Then again, I don't think either of them like America enough to see it prosper.

      “Our economy is in deep trouble,” said billionaire and self-professed Fabulist Jeff Greene in an interview yesterday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “We’ve had a realistic level of job destruction, and those jobs aren’t coming back.”

      What says they cant, even under the weight of a hyperpower like the US? If anything, the Davos folks like Greene are the kind that hate Americans and would do anything to destroy the country.

  • shielded from taxation simply by moving it to another country IS a tax code designed for the digital age. A tax code that wouldn't allow taxes to be avoided that way would sound more like something for an industrial age.

  • by EmperorOfCanada ( 1332175 ) on Sunday December 20, 2015 @06:00AM (#51153175)
    What I don't understand about countries like the UK allowing this to happen is not the simple equation of lost tax revenues but the fact that a UK company that wants to compete with Apple or one of the other companies not paying taxes can't. Basically the UK is asking its companies to pay huge taxes and then compete against companies that don't.

    This means that Apple can operate in most of the world's major economies without having to pay 20-40% of its profits to the governments. The local companies often do. Minimally this gives the tax avoiding companies that much more to dump into marketing, research, etc while still returning a healthy profit to their shareholders.

    So when looking at the losses, the UK Germany and so on, should not just look at the lost taxes but the lost benefits of having the next Facebook, Apple, Google, etc be born in their countries. What is Google worth to the US beyond simple corporate tax revenues? I suspect that at first blush that having a Google in your country would be worth a shocking amount.
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      There are a few reasons why the UK government is reluctant to tax multinational corporations. There are a few UK based multinationals that threaten to go elsewhere if forced to pay tax, and many of them are run by friends of the Tory party. Cameron and Osborne are not going to screw their old chums by making them pay tax, that's something only proles do.

      Forcing multinationals to pay tax wouldn't really help small UK companies anyway. Anyone competing with Apple is either looking to be bought out or will hav

  • by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Sunday December 20, 2015 @06:01AM (#51153177)

    I actually like an arguement made before the Australian Royal Commission into tax avoidances many years ago. I think it was one of the Packers who said something along the lines of, "We have a moral and legal obligation to pay the government as little tax as possible. We will always pay the minimum required. If you want us to pay more tax then change the laws." (paraphrased since I can't find the actual quote).

    Which is all quite true. I myself don't donate anything to the government and I do everything within my legal power to minimise the tax I pay. Corporations are no different and if you want to tax them then you need to close the loopholes that allow a company to operate in your country without paying tax. But good luck getting anyone to do that as the business groups then complain and say you'll drive away business with your "high" tax.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      "We have a moral and legal obligation to pay the government as little tax as possible.

      Which is all quite true.

      Not it isn't. Simply declaring something to be true does not make it so. Do you have any evidence that anyone, ever suffered legal consequences for not minimizing their tax bill to the greatest extent possible? No? Didn't think so. That means your "legal" quote is flat-out wrong.

      As for moral, that's just junk too.

      The fact that closing loopholes is hard because people with a lot of money can spend a

      • by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Sunday December 20, 2015 @06:32AM (#51153267)

        Do you have any evidence that anyone, ever suffered legal consequences for not minimizing their tax bill to the greatest extent possible? No? Didn't think so.

        Yes, see shareholder lawsuits against the board / CEO when they think the company didn't return maximum profits. This stuff happens all the time. A corporation's responsibility is not at all towards the government beyond obeying the laws. The law is where their responsibility ends. After that they are responsible for their shareholders.

        The fact that closing loopholes is hard because people with a lot of money can spend almost arbitrarily large amounts trying to find loopholes. The country you set up your profitable business in only works because of the taxes paid. Trying every means to avoid them is free loading and is not morally justified.

        Wrong argument. The loopholes are well known. So well that it's quite possible to calculate how much tax would be paid if the loop holes didn't exist. The government knows this, they chose not to close them. Also who's taxes built a country? The corporation who pays little, or the small business and workers? Clearly the countries are presently working and always have worked too despite the lack of corporate taxes.

        On a more personal note I'd like to thank you for donating to my education. You did donate right? As in you didn't ever file a tax return, you didn't pay a tax accountant to minimise the amount of taxes you paid? You just voluntarily gave the government money which it used to fund my education and dropping bombs on other countries right? Thank you. Or if not, then please get off your moral high horse. And even if you did get off that moral high horse too. My government bombs other countries in wars it's not involved in. My government donates to a charity which I don't agree with. My government spends money on spying on citizens, tracking their movements, and infringing their rights. I morally oppose both of those things and as such morally oppose giving any more money to the government than I am required to.

        Morality is not absolute. It's a distinction between right and wrong. I think I'm right and you're wrong. Let me guess, you disagree? Then maybe morality is in the eye of the beholder.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          Yes, see shareholder lawsuits against the board / CEO when they think the company didn't return maximum profits. This stuff happens all the time.

          Again, you state without proof. If you can't actually provide evidence of when someone has suffered legal penalties due to not minimizing the tax bill to the greatest extent possible then you're just making up hypotheticals and presenting them as facts.

          If it's true, provide a reference to one time it's happened.

          The loopholes are well known. So well that it's quite

          • Again, you state without proof.

            I'm not going to homework for you common knowledge. Search yourself. You don't even need to look far, the right keywords on the Slashdot search box alone will find you the evidence without even needing to resort to Google. Heck we covered an article on shareholders who sued their board of directors only last week.

            Closing loopholes without causing harm elsewhere and actually making sure no new loopholes exist is really hard.

            No it's not. These loop holes don't cause harm elsewhere, unless you think my Government now has an obligation to the Cayman Islands now. The "harm" you describe is that someone needs to pay taxes.

        • Yes, see shareholder lawsuits against the board / CEO when they think the company didn't return maximum profits.

          That's civil law. Things that are illegal - which was your claim - are the province of criminal law.

          • Criminal law, civil law, don't split hairs. The point is the same. The corporations are doing what they are required to.

            • Criminal law, civil law, don't split hairs. The point is the same. The corporations are doing what they are required to.

              A quick search with Google (as you suggested others do) shows that the proposition that the Board of Directors of a company has an unfettered duty to maximize profits is not true. There doesn't seem to be a decision that clearly puts forward this viewpoint. Yes, Boards owe duties to shareholders, but a singular focus on maximizing profits doesn't seem to be one of those duties.

  • The current tax code was made for the industrial age, and not the "digital age"

    In other words, taxes are for you the industrious consumers. Now run along and play taxi with the uber we've so generously gifted you.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 20, 2015 @06:30AM (#51153255)

    Apple's tax arrangements have been in place for over 30 years, they are hardly new. It is also pays more US tax than any other company.

    Essentially they have subsidiaries in low tax countries ( Ireland and Singapore) that control the buy price of the international sales in the other non-US countries their kit is sold in. This is commonly called transfer pricing.

    This effectively holds international profits in low tax foreign locations.

    Apple doesn't do the next logical step in financial engineering, which is to move the companies IP to a zero tax location , and license it back to the other subsidiaries , at a rate that simply transfers all profit to a zero tax location (eg Bahamas) . Many companies do take this extra step.

    Part of the goal of companies in doing this is that the US is almost unique , in that it taxes the profits on foreign sales, after they have been taxed in the country of sale. Very few other countries do this. Most countries don't double tax like this.

    This legal situation with US tax law encourages the kinds of thing Apple has done for over a quarter century, as well as far worse. It encourages companies to minimize tax earns in foreign countries, and minimize the fraction of profits they bring back to the US. It's an everybody loses outcome, the country stuff is sold in has its corporate income tax takings reduced, and the funds are never repatriated to the US, living in limbo offshore, reducing US government tax income as well.

    If the US adopted tax law consistent with most other countries, there would not be a double taxation incentive to avoid the return of funds early on international sales to the US.

  • Apple have $59.2 of tax money, owed to the government, locked away in their offshore bank account? Ok.... Then why doesn't the government just print / reissue that money? - Would it really make any economic difference, if apple paid the tax they owe, or the government just reprints it? A dollar is a dollar whatever way it gets produced! Then if apple do one day pay up, then just destroy the money they give back. Why is this such a problem?
    • Printing $50.2 billion dollars without taking other dollars out of circulation will make the value of every dollar in circulation less. Apple won't pay the money to the government (because they don't really owe it) but instead, they will spend that money the other things they need (salaries, raw materials for products, buying other companies, etc.) The government wobt ever get Apple's money to destroy it.
  • The core problem is taxing on the fiction that are profits. The unsavory bit is Apple maintaining at least one corporate entity that has no country of domicile, and passing cost allocations around between operating subsidiaries to take their effective tax rate to punitive rates in countries where their revenue comes from. There are similar fictional cost allocations in car manufacturing and in FMCG markets (eg: Nestle borrowing money from another subsidiary at well above banking industry interest rates, or
  • I agree with Tim. There is "political crap" going on alright. It's our own damn government taking bribes in exchange for tax loopholes to allow this kind of shit to happen in the first place.

    It's easy for our own government to make this kind of activity illegal. It's impossible for them to actually do it, which goes to show anyone and everyone who is truly in control of our government, and has been for a very long time.

    And it will remain that way until someone makes lobbying our government illegal. Fat

  • They are exploiting tax loopholes.

    .
    Calling them out on it is not political crap. Calling it political crap is a diversionary tactic used in an attempt to change the topic of conversation.

  • because of the money that is used to buy politicians/elections. When it becomes cheaper to buy a politician than to pay the tax, you buy the politician. Don't expect to see any changes that result in more tax revenues coming in from corporations or very rich people any time soon. If someone succeeds in increasing tax revenues it will come at the expense of people who work for a living, because they have no say whatsoever in what their government does.

  • Shaming capitalism and the rich for the progressive mob's consumption is called 'Monday through Friday' for mainstream media, even the "venerable" 60 Minutes. The only difference is the target is one of their own...he probably expected a pass or kid gloves. You shouldn't trust a starving dog.

  • Calling it "political crap" is just snark that reinforces the arrogance of Apple.

Federal grants are offered for... research into the recreation potential of interplanetary space travel for the culturally disadvantaged.

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