The Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations determined Apple used loopholes to avoid paying taxes on $44 billion in taxable off-shore income over the last three years. Apple execs say the company has not done anything wrong.
Apple CEO Tim Cook showed up on Capitol Hill to defend his company’s tax strategy. But, it was mostly one long, and free, Apple plug:
‘Apple has enjoyed unprecedented success over the past ten years. The world-wide popularity of our products has soared. And our international revenues are now twice as large as our domestic revenues. As a result, I’m often asked if Apple still considers itself an American company. My answer has always been an emphatic ‘Yes’. We are proud to be an American company, and equally proud of our contributions to the American economy. Apple is a bit larger today than the company created by Steve Jobs in his parents’ garage 40 years ago, but that same entrepreneurial spirit drives everything that we do. You can tell the story of Apple’s success in just one word: innovation. It’s what we’re known for. Products like iPhone and iPad, which created entirely new markets. These give customers something so incredibly useful; they can’t imagine their lives without them.’
Cook said Apple pays all the taxes it owes, and, more importantly, complies with the spirit of the law.
‘We do have a low tax rate outside the United States. But this tax rate is for products we sell outside the United States, not within. So the way that I look at this is there’s no shifting going on that I see at all.’
Or, to put it another way, these aren’t the droids you’re looking for.
He said he has a responsibility to shareholders to pay as little as possible in taxes, and that given the current U.S. tax rate, he has no intentions of bring foreign profits back to this country.
If people don’t like that, they can always stop buying Apple products, but somehow we don’t see that happening any time soon.