Apple is ubiquitous — is international headquarters exists everywhere and nowhere — according to it’s claim that its international subsidiaries are effectively stateless, leading to no tax liabilities in the U.S. or anywhere else on much of its overseas profits.
These claims are completely ridiculous. I find it appalling that a company that is already so profitable resorts to techniques so egregious to avoid paying a reasonable amount of tax to the governments where it’s affiliates are located.
If you or I did this or any smaller company that didn’t have the clout or alleged image that Apple did this, we’d be in jail or at the very least up in front of the IRS so fast that our heads would spin. Apple’s claim calls to mind some of the nutty claims that consumer tax avoiders use to try to avoid paying tax: in my hometown of Erie, PA, a former county councilman who is now in jail tried to justify his lack of payment of taxes under Maritime Law. How is what Apple is doing any different?
The New York Times reports that the Congressional Investigators who put together the report on Apple’s tax evasion are going to have a “potentially explosive” confrontation with Apple’s CEO Tim Cook. What I’m not getting is what the issue is – these materials should be turned over to the IRS and the foreign governments involved and Apple should be promptly investigated in more depth.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t sound like much of anything is going to happen. It’s likely that Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, will use his appearance before Congress to advocate for a corporate tax profit repatriation holiday, according to Heidi Moore of The Guardian, and U.S. corporations may very well receive one, in which case they will take their profits and use them to buy back stock and pay bigger dividends.
Nothing will change, which says it all about the corporate welfare that many corporations enjoy at the expense of US taxpayers.