Apple Lobbying for International Tax Amnesty to Bring Home Profits

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Feb 16, 2011.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001


    Over the past few years, much has been made of Apple's reserves of cash and securities, which are now up to approximately $60 billion and growing rapidly. Some observers have suggested the company initiate a stock buyback or issue dividends to reward investors with some of the profits, while others have preferred that the cash remain in Apple's hands to enable the company to reinvest it into the business at some point in the future for greater returns. Apple CEO Steve Jobs noted during the company's October 2010 earnings conference call that Apple is holding onto the cash in order to take advantage of "one or more unique strategic opportunities" that it believes may present itself.

    But all of the money may not be available for immediate use, as Fortune reports that Apple is one of a number of U.S. companies with significant profits generated in international markets that continue to sit abroad as the companies prefer to not pay the 35% federal tax charged on such foreign earnings.

    To address this situation, Apple and these other major players are reportedly stepping up lobbying efforts to try to get the federal government to offer a one-year "tax holiday" that would allow them to bring the profits back to the United States while only being subjected to 5% tax, with the rationale being that the money could be put to work in the U.S. to stimulate the economy rather than simply sitting in foreign bank accounts.
    International markets have become increasingly important to Apple as iOS devices have proliferated around the world. In fact, Apple reported that during its most recent quarter, 62% of its revenue came from international sales. Consequently, billions of dollars in profit are being generated overseas each quarter, and Apple has been loathe to turn over 35% of those sums to the U.S. government.

    On a possibly related note, Apple recently hired high-profile lobbying firm Fierce, Isakowitz and Blalock to assist with government dealings, an unusual move for the company that has typically refrained from significant lobbying in Washington, DC.

    Article Link: Apple Lobbying for International Tax Amnesty to Bring Home Profits
  2. Sheza macrumors 68000


    Aug 14, 2010
    Cambridge, UK
    What utter rubbish. The money shouldn't be in those foreign bank accounts in the first place.
  3. whooleytoo macrumors 604


    Aug 2, 2002
    Cork, Ireland.
    I can imagine this being fairly contentious. On the one hand - it would be great for the US economy to have that kind of cash injection. On the other - why should the 'rich' pay less tax; while the poor pay more?
  4. Biscuit411 macrumors regular

    Sep 29, 2010
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_1_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7E18 Safari/528.16)

    30% of $x BILLION seems like a good reason to keep things overseas.
  5. ItsGavinC macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2007
    Because in broad and general terms, the poor don't pay any taxes at all. Your mileage may vary, but this is largely true.
  6. marksman macrumors 603


    Jun 4, 2007
    I am not a fan of anyone or anything dodging their tax responsibilities.. but the reality is that money is not doing our economy any good sitting in overseas banks... So I think such an exemption to get the money back here would be worthwhile.

    I am not sure how much they could caveat it, like I would say the money would be taxed at 5% if it is reinvested in the US or something. Create some kind of incentive to use the money here.. but that would be hard to structure, verify and follow up on.
  7. Piggie macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    Oh the irony.

    So Apple does not want to pay 30 ish % tax on their money.

    Funny, the figure seems strangely familiar :D
  8. martygras9 macrumors 6502


    Aug 13, 2007
    Makes sense to bring it back to the states, but how it's going to stimulate the economy after only 5% tax and going into the pockets of the rich is beyond me.
  9. martygras9 macrumors 6502


    Aug 13, 2007
    God that's fantastic!
  10. DraziGuy macrumors member

    Oct 20, 2009
    I was thinking the exact same thing... Apple is thinking "35%? For what? Why should I cut someone else in on my cash flow when I earned it all myself?"
  11. hobo.hopkins macrumors 6502a


    Jul 30, 2008
    This is just an example of how relatively high taxes can lower revenues. The government isn't getting a penny of Apple's overseas money, whereas if they had these taxes at a more reasonable level they could be getting money directly in taxes, and indirectly through it's usage in the American economy. Having the taxes so high doesn't do the government or its people any good.
  12. rdrr macrumors 6502a


    Nov 20, 2003
    I thought the same thing. Funny how when its your money, 30% seems a little steep.
  13. benpatient macrumors 68000

    Nov 4, 2003
    We're talking about companies, here, not individuals. We are all "poor" relative to these companies, anyway.

    Can I have an amnesty from paying MY taxes over the last decade?

    I'm not poor, but I never have more than a couple thousand dollars in the bank at any point in time (if that), and I've paid nearly 100,000 in taxes in the last decade.

    I would gladly take my 75,000 dollars back, please.

    I'm sure the republicans will back this, and then say that those opposed are "hurting small business." As if any small businesses can afford to leave huge piles of cash in foreign banks...
  14. baleensavage macrumors 6502a

    Aug 2, 2005
    On an island in Maine
    ROFL It's a taste of their own medicine...
  15. bbeagle macrumors 68040


    Oct 19, 2010
    Buffalo, NY
    So, if I layoff American workers and out-source their jobs overseas, and earn a lot of money doing this, I will get a discount on my taxes?

    Wow. Sure looks like a win for the American Economy. *sigh*
  16. justperry macrumors G3


    Aug 10, 2007
    In the core of a black hole.
    Wow, 62%, about time to care a bit more about the rest of the world then only focusing themselves on North America, as in plenty of services which are only available to the USA:(
  17. imwoblin macrumors 6502

    Jun 9, 2007
    I remember Warren Buffett lambasting the US tax code a couple of years ago when he said that he only pays 17% tax on his income when his secretary paid 30%. He challenged all other US billionaires to write Congress about this. None
    We all know the US tax law and loopholes favor the well off.. both for corporations and individuals. If I were a betting man, I would bet Apple will get their way on this.....
  18. bobpm macrumors newbie

    Nov 19, 2010
    Apple Should Pony Up

    If all corporations, Apple included, paid their fair share of taxes, our country wouldn't have a financial crisis. Corporations should have to pay 35% on profits regardless of where they are derived. Additionally, corporations should be penalized for outsourcing and given incentives for bringing manufacturing back to the United States. This is exactly what President Obama proposed, only to have the legs cut out from under him by the Republicans in the Senate.
  19. hobo.hopkins macrumors 6502a


    Jul 30, 2008
    You have greatly generalised a huge issue, but I'll ignore that. Corporations not paying their taxes did not cause this financial crisis. The fact of the matter is that this money is not doing a thing to help the United States, or Apple. It's sitting in a bank overseas. By having such high taxes, the government is getting less than they otherwise would if the taxes were lowered to an acceptable level.
  20. griz macrumors 6502a

    Dec 18, 2003
    New London, NH
    They should just buy Facebook and be done with it.
  21. Dillenger macrumors 6502a


    Mar 23, 2006
    Central, Illinois
    The title banner says; Apps for helping you track and save your money, then the story is not about apps at all. :confused:
  22. whooleytoo macrumors 604


    Aug 2, 2002
    Cork, Ireland.
    No? I guess the US must be different then, because they certainly do here.
  23. djp2 macrumors member

    Jan 16, 2010
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

    So, if I layoff American workers and out-source their jobs overseas, and earn a lot of money doing this, I will get a discount on my taxes?

    This. These companies, to be frank, are full of it. They will reinvest a tiny fraction of those profits in the US. The majority of it will go into the pockets of a select few, already rich shareholders. Apple (and every other major multinational) will continue to outsource as much as they possibly can, increasing their international profits still more and benefiting the few wealthy people who own significant stakes in AAPL. Meanwhile, everyone else loses out on the 30% that would have gone to schools, infrastructure, health care and social security.

    They will get exactly what they want, I'm sure.
  24. chrmjenkins macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2007
    Interesting situation because with the tax code as it is, that money will likely hide in overseas bank accounts, legally or illegally, for the foreseeable future. So, while I see the benefit of this on the short term, I would hope that it would only be the beginning of some package to reform both corporate and personal taxes.
  25. cinder macrumors member

    Jun 26, 2004
    hobo- while the example might be wrong but the facts are still true.

    A large percentage of cash is being funnelled, tax-free (or tax cheap) through foreign entities explicitly set up to avoid taxes.

    This has an incredibly large effect on taxes.

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