Tim Cook Defends Apple's Tax Record Ahead of Senate Committee Appearance [Updated]

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, May 16, 2013.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple CEO Tim Cook, in a break from his predecessor, is giving a number of interviews to Washington press outlets ahead of his appearance in front of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigation next week.

    Washington newspaper Politico spoke to Cook about Apple's offshore cash pile -- which the company has thus far refused to repatriate to the United States because of the significant tax burden that would result -- and Apple's political activities.
    Cook has agreed to appear in front of the subcommittee on Tuesday morning personally, instead of sending a more junior executive to testify in front of the committee. His predecessor as CEO, Steve Jobs, agreed to very few interviews and tended to stay out of politics entirely.

    Apple recently borrowed $17 billion in a bond offering, in part to return cash to shareholders without bringing some of its $100 billion overseas cash pile to the United States. If it were to repatriate that cash to the U.S., it would need to pay a more than $13 billion tax bill.

    Update: In an interview with The Washington Post, Cook says he plans to present specific proposals at the Senate hearing to overhaul the U.S. corporate tax system.
    Cook also pointed out that if state and federal taxes are combined, Apple pays roughly $1 million per hour in taxes, possibly making Apple the largest corporate taxpayer in the country.

    Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the comment thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All MacRumors forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

    Article Link: Tim Cook Defends Apple's Tax Record Ahead of Senate Committee Appearance [Updated]
  2. Peace macrumors Core


    Apr 1, 2005
    Space--The ONLY Frontier
    Pay the 13 Billion and bring that money back to the United States. Become an example for other companies.
  3. k1121j macrumors 6502a


    Mar 28, 2009
    New Hampshire
    Go Timmy

    Geez perhaps the US needs to rethink its own tax policy it just may bring jobs back to the USA
  4. Four oF NINE macrumors 68000

    Four oF NINE

    Sep 28, 2011
    Hell's Kitchen
  5. Kaibelf Suspended


    Apr 29, 2009
    Chicago, IL
    If they manufacture items abroad, ship them abroad, SELL them abroad, AND pay the local sales taxes in those countries, exactly why in the world does the US have a claim on that money? You're not supposed to be taxed twice on sales anywhere, and the US's tax and revenue issues don't preclude other countries' sovereignty.

    What you're asking them to do is give away money that, frankly, the US has no right to have, and you want that to set an example? No.


    Sure! As long as my phone isn't $1100 to make it happen with wages and union pressure. Or, you can have the regular, and the "Made in the USA" edition, and let people choose which one they will pay for. I personally wouldn't spend more than $50 more for a domestically-produced phone, as I already pay thousands of my dollars to an American carrier for the service anyway, and the last thing I need is to struggle financially so that someone who decided not to finish high school can get a second car and a more comfortable home than I have.
  6. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    I've seen lots of accusations that Apple is doing terrible and illegal things but I've yet to see any proof.

    The big big BIG difference between Apple and some of these other companies that send profits over-seas in convoluted cheat-schemes is that Apple is actually selling products in these other countries.

    When an Apple store in Italy sells an iPhone to an Italian Apple then pays a tax to Italy for that. If that money stays in Italy, well, ok. There's nothing really wrong with that. Sure it would make me happy, as an American, for Apple to bring that money home and pay more taxes on it a second time, but what reason does Apple have to do that? I can't offer them a reason.

    This is a far cry from someone making money in the U.S. and then sending the money to some secret bank account in another country to avoid taxes.

    Should it turn out Apple is doing that, sure, grill them for it. But I've yet to see anyone offer any evidence for that whatsoever.
  7. chrmjenkins macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2007
    The US gives a tax credit based on tax paid to foreign entities. And you're not being taxed by the US instead of that country. Both of those are nonsense talking points.

    That doesn't change the fact that the US tax rate, at 35%, is among the highest for corporations among the world.

    A fair proposal would be an international minimum tax, as has been proposed by Obama. Have some minimum rate around 15% where if the country of origin doesn't tax to that amount, the home nation immediately taxes those profits to that level. If the foreign nation taxes at at least that level, no US tax claim can be made. That incentives every nation to tax to at least the minimum (unless they want to be a race to the bottom tax haven) so that they maximize the taxes they can claim rather than the home nation.
  8. Bonte macrumors 6502a


    Jul 1, 2002
    Bruges, Belgium
    Apple earned it offshore
    Apple payed offshore taxes
    Apple holds the cash offshore

    I don't see the problem, Apple would be taxed double and i would be taxed again via the dividend, there are limits to taxing.
  9. bacaramac macrumors 65816


    Dec 29, 2007
    Would love to see something that moves all manufacturing back to US. Can't they write tax laws that make it a win win scenario? Not even gonna try to defend tax law because I only know how to use turbo tax. Haha
  10. Ryth macrumors 65816

    Apr 21, 2011
    It's a World Economy now. Not just the US.

    Tim is exactly correct. They pay taxes on everything they SELL IN THE US.

    Just like they pay taxes in other countries for whatever they SELL IN THOSE COUNTRIES.
  11. mr.steevo macrumors 65816


    Jul 21, 2004
    Governments complaining about corporations taking advantage of tax laws makes no sense to me. This is like a homeowner complaining about their furnace when they have their windows wide open. Fix the problem?
  12. CristobalHuet macrumors 65816


    Jan 18, 2008
    Easy for you to say that when it's not your money. $13 billion is not chump change, not even for a company like Apple.
  13. Mr.damien Guest

    Read the news in europe and you will see that they pay almost no taxes "offshore" (just like all others like Google and Microsoft)


    Sure, moreover when they give a lot more to shareholders ...
  14. Tankmaze, May 16, 2013
    Last edited: May 16, 2013

    Tankmaze macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2012
    yup, exactly what I was thinking.

    edit : 35 percent of taxes to repatriate the money!! what the... i'm sure even for apple that is too much.
  15. mcrain macrumors 68000


    Feb 8, 2002
    Easy solution is to just impose the tax on the money held offshore and collect the $13 Billion dollars whether they repatriate the money or not.

    (edit) A better solution would be to give a 1% discount on moneys repatriated and invested in the US.
  16. Ryth macrumors 65816

    Apr 21, 2011

    You should read the news also and get your facts straight. VAT is big in Europe. And Apple pays a ton of that.

    It has not been suggested that any of their tax avoidance schemes are illegal.

    All of the companies pay considerable amounts of other taxes in the UK, such as National Insurance, and raise large sums of VAT.
  17. mdelvecchio macrumors 68040


    Sep 3, 2010
    an example of what?

    bring the money "back" -- the income was never in the US to begin, its profit from overseas products to overseas customers, where it was already taxed (overseas).
  18. Ryth macrumors 65816

    Apr 21, 2011
    Might as well give up...it's like trying to teach logic to a wall...they'll never get it. Some people think the USA is the center of the universe and deserve everything..even things that aren't theirs (like Apple's oversea's profits).
  19. barkomatic macrumors 68040

    Aug 8, 2008
    As usual, threads like this seesaw between extreme views on this issue. Tim Cook said he was willing to repatriate the money back to the U.S. and pay taxes on it -- just not the exorbitant rate the government wants. Perhaps a more reasonable rate would work.
  20. lunaoso macrumors 65816


    Sep 22, 2012
    Boston, MA
    Wow! 1 mil and hour just in taxes? That's more then some people make in their entire lives!
  21. danielwsmithee macrumors 65816

    Mar 12, 2005
    Apple and many other companies have been pushing this for while now, and it keeps getting blocked by our broken political system.
  22. Ryth macrumors 65816

    Apr 21, 2011
    Apple shouldn't bring it back. The USA will just squander it and waste it.

    Apple bar none can spend it's money better then the US Government.

    Let Apple bring it back, but let them instead of paying the taxes on it, let Apple take that tax money that would have gone to the USA and spend it on projects in the USA to better peoples lives. But these projects would be overseen by APPLE, not some government agency.

    With that money, could you imagine what Apple could do to benefit society.
  23. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601


    Sep 16, 2007
    Northeastern Ohio
    Typical government wanting money they didn't earn and spending it faster than they can tax you to get it.
  24. Rogifan macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2011
    Why? To fund an inefficient government. No thanks.
  25. AppleScruff1 macrumors G3


    Feb 10, 2011
    All American companies doing business overseas are subject to having their overseas profits taxed in the US if they bring the money home. This isn't a surprise to Apple, Google, Microsoft, etc. That's what the current tax laws state, it wasn't sprung upon anyone by surprise. It has nothing with the USA being the center of the universe. It's where you chose to base your business, you are subject to their laws. Nothing difficult about that logic at all. Apple isn't breaking any laws by keeping the money abroad. If they want to bring it home, they must abide by the current tax laws, plain and simple.

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