A recent report has implicated Apple as one of the “largest tax avoiders” in America. The Los Angeles Times reported that Tim Cook, Apple chief executive, testified before a Senate panel to explain Apple’s offshore banking.
Of Apple’s $145 billion, the techno corporation kept $102 billion in offshore accounts, said the Senate committee. Instead of admitting that Apple housed such an immense amount of money to avoid corporate taxes, which corporate lobbyists are trying to lower, Cook defends Apple’s practices saying that the company “not only compl(ies) with the laws but . . . compl(ies) with the spirit of the laws.”
Although Apple complied with the laws that applied to the money taxable under American tax codes, they’ve avoided paying even more taxes by keeping money in international bank accounts.
During Tim Cook’s testimony, he indicated that “Apple pays an extraordinary amount in US taxes.” In fiscal year 2012, Apple payed out about $6 billion in taxes. However, they ducked out of paying $9 billion that same year.
Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) was panel chairman who went after Apple for using loopholes to skirt American corporate taxes. Levin went on to proclaim that “Apple executives want the public to focus on the U.S. taxes the company has paid, but the real issue in the billions in taxes it has not paid, thanks to offshore tax strategies whose purpose is tax avoidance, pure and simple.”
But naturally, not all politicians believe that corporations should be held to the same laws as other Americans. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) tried to fly in to Apple’s rescue saying “Frankly, I’m offended by a $4 trillion government bullying, berating and badgering one of America’s greatest success stories.”
Apparently being a great “success story” means getting to blow off having to pay your obligations.
Joshua de Leon is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire.