Apple's overseas hoard unfair to taxpayers
The tech giant's cash-management strategy -- and it's hardly alone in this approach -- benefits the company, not hardworking Americans.
In fact, as Citizens for Tax Justice noted, that money is out of reach of the taxing authorities of any government. As leader of the iPhone and iPad maker, Cook insists his company hasn't done anything wrong. Sadly for American taxpayers, he's right.
As the nonprofit tax organization notes on its website: "Under current law, corporations can indefinitely defer paying U.S. income taxes on their offshore profits."
Companies disclose in their financial reports how much in taxes they would have paid if there were no deferral. In Apple's case, it's $35 billion. The company notes that it does pay plenty of taxes -- about $6 billion in 2012. Still, by shifting its cash around the globe, Apple kept at least $74 billion out of the IRS' reach between 2009 and 2012, according to The New York Times.
Speaking before the U.S. Senate, Cook argued that Apple doesn't depend on "tax gimmicks."
"We pay all the taxes we owe -- every single dollar," the Los Angeles Times quoted him as saying. "We not only comply with the laws, but we comply with the spirit of the laws."
Other companies, such as Google (GOOG) and General Electric (GE), have made similar arguments. These giant corporations use strategies such as "Double Irish" and "Dutch Sandwich" that sound like they could be titles for 1940s pulp detective novels.
Cook and other business executives have long argued that the U.S. tax code is too cumbersome and that business tax rates are too high. Add another complaint to that list: unfair to hardworking, taxpaying Americans.
Jonathan Berr does not own shares of the listed stocks. Follow him on Twitter @jdberr.
If you were an Apple stockholder and found out that the company was paying more in taxes than it legally was required to, you'd not only be upset, you could hold Apple management liable for those losses.
This is why FairTax makes a boatload of sense, there's no incentive to keep the money offshore. Our government should figure out a way to encourage ALL companies to bring the money onshore, return it to the owners as dividends, pay off debt, invest in innovative new products.....
Our government has grown bloated, corrupt (IRS and AP scandals), and addicted to confiscation of wealth to redistribute to people that did nothing to earn it so that one party of another can remain in power. Look at gas taxes, the government encourages fuel efficiency until it diminishes tax revenues, then it looks at taxing us by the mile..... Time to take politics and politicians out of our tax policy, FairTax does that and has the side effect of eliminating the IRS and shrinking government while still allowing it to maintain essential services.
The revenue the government needs to provide legitimate constitutional services should be obtained primarily from a national sales tax instead of a tax on wages. All would pay based on consumption, the more you spend the more you pay. The more luxury you surround yourself with, the more you pay. Your choice. A national sales tax system would capture money spent by criminals and by illegal aliens who currently pay near zero in taxes. There would of course need to be exemptions: Cars (already have a federal excise tax) Primary Residence/Rental Properties (vacation homes would be subject to tax/rental profit would be taxed) Fresh Food (Preprocessed foods and prepared meals would be taxed – only fresh/fresh frozen/canned goods would be exempt) Insurance Premiums, Health Care & Certified Education.
> Jonathan Berr does not own shares of the listed stocks.
If he did own shares of AAPL, he would want the company to protect his money from the greedy federal government. In fact, he would be very unhappy if they over-paid their taxes.
> ...unfair to hardworking, taxpaying Americans.
Does Mr. Berr hand out 20 dollar bills to strangers on the streets without claiming taxable contributions? No?!? Then isn't that just as unfair as Apple protecting shareholders money from the IRS?
Look if people who are INCRECDIBLY STUPID try to pass laws then those laws will be used by people who are NOT incredibly stupid to their benefit.
We need a congressional hearing to figure that out ? .? . ?
Why doesn't congress have a hearing to try and determine why INCREDIBLY STUPID people are allowed to serve in to congress to pass laws.
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Reports say the generous benefactor behind the huge gratuities is a former PayPal executive.
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