Apple lobbies Obama for tax holiday, wants to bring overseas bounty home

“Apple’s profits stashed overseas is getting restless for a trip to the United States. The tech giant, frequently seen wealthier than the U.S. government and Exxon-Mobile, is lobbying the U.S. government for a five percent ‘tax holiday,” Ed Sutherland reports for Cult of Mac.

“Apple is aligned with Republicans and against the Democratic American President,” Sutherland reports. “Google, Oracle and Cisco are also part of the ‘WIN America Campaign’ that argues ‘incentives to invest at home is a common sense solution that will immediately inject up to $1 trillion into our economy and provide businesses with the security and certainty they need to help Americans get back to work,’ according the the group’s website.”

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Sutherland reports, “So far, the proposed bill has picked up support of 15 Republicans and eight Democrats in the House of Representatives. So far opposed to the effort is President Barack Obama, to whom the companies donated $1.3 million in 2008.”

Read more in the full article here.
 

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lava_Head_UK” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
U.S Senate Democrat Schumer allies with Apple, other multinationals on repatriation tax talks – June 21, 2011
U.S. companies push for tax break on foreign cash – June 20, 2011

95 Comments

        1. Anyone voting Republican needs their freakin’ head read.

          Saying that, I wish the Dems would let the money be brought into the US. Tie it to investment if they have to. Pretty hard to argue against a trillion dollar injection.

          1. Oh yeah, this “hopey-changey” stuff is really helping out. And Obama has done a wonderful job. Gitmo closed? Troops out of Iraq? Stimulus brought down unemployment? Maintained our AAA rating? Got involved in another conflict – Libya……

      1. Funny, you didn’t have a problem with government when President Gorge Bush was in charge. As a matter of fact when Bush’s policies were criticized while in office, those people were called Bush haters, America haters, enemies of the state, soldier haters and the like.

        Now that there’s a black Christian president in the White House, government some how seems, I don’t know, dirty to republicans. I wonder why that is?

        1. Too bad you totally didn’t pick up on his sarcasm before dedicating a few paragraphs in your rebuttal. Then again, seems like you’re not the only one today, so no biggie. Happens all the time in the forums, to the best of us even.

      1. “What if we didn’t have dumbasses like Sucker?”

        We wouldn’t be stuck with an empty suit as prez whose highest dedication, beyond spending the country into oblivion, seems to be improving his golf game.

        1. I guess he should have stayed in Washington all by himself while Congress all took a month off… maybe he could have actually gotten something done with those clowns gone. If he were allowed to pass legislation without them, I don’t think he’d be working on his golf game, but of course congress would scream like little girls that they weren’t consulted.

            1. Who gives a carp about vacations. They’re on-call anyway. It’s the economy. And Obama has done much worse than Bush. By every economic measure we’re doing much worse.

            2. At 31 months in office
                President Obama: 61 vacation days
                Ronald Reagan: 112 days at his ranch
                George W. Bush: 180 days at his ranch — right close to 20% of the time…
              Heckuva jub, Shrub!

            3. Don’t forget the 45 days of vacation at Camp David that Bush also took during his first 31 months in office, making his total vacation time 225 days, almost 25% of the time. And we all know Bush didn’t ever work past 4:30 pm or on weekends, never bothered to read newspapers or research anything, but just asked for a 1 page memo in the morning with his coffee to keep him informed of all that was going on in the world. Even when one of those memos suggested a high probability of a terrorist attack… he missed it. But, he wasn’t much of a golfer (takes too much concentration) so he just stuck to bowling, or wearing air force flight jumpsuits, or driving his riding mower around his ranch…

    1. That’s right, all those republican constituents that are now protesting their republican T-Party congressmen at town halls as to why they want to cut or eliminate their benefits and give it to the rich are going to vote those fools back into office in 2012 let alone new like minded fools.

  1. I’m against this not only for Apple but for ALL companies. They are making billions overseas at the expense of the US labor market, which only makes matters worse here at home. Apple can pay their fair share of taxes just like Warren Buffet has offered to do. If they have Billions on the bank, and they do, yet still pay their store staff almost minimum wage, they can easily afford to pay the taxes that are due!

    And the same goes for everyone else in that boat who are only looking to make the rich, much richer, while eliminating social safety nets that help those who cannot help themselves.

    1. if I’m not mistaken (and I could be) they are wanting to bring money made in other countries that they have already been taxed on in the country where they made the money. The US government – the only western government that does this- taxes this income again when it brought back to the US. Does that make sense to anyone?

    2. Instead of demonizing the rich you should understand why businesses and manufacturing is leaving the USA in droves. We have the 2nd highest corporate tax rate in the whole world. The politicians know this and want this. Now that much manufacturing is automated – cheap labor is much less of a reason. LOWER THE CORPORATE TAX RATE NOW.

      1. While the US may have the highest tax rate on paper, the actual rate corporations pay in taxes is much, much lower. Corporations are paying much less in taxes than just 15 years ago, all of which lead to the making both the federal deficit and the debt worse.

      2. Business and manufacturing aren’t leaving the USA in droves because of this tax law, they are leaving because labor markets overseas are much cheaper. Can you say Tech Support in India? They have those jobs because they work cheap….

        Same thing with manufacturing… electronics and apparel are all made overseas not because of this tax law, but because people overseas work cheap.

        And where does that leave everybody? With workers either here or overseas being paid less, that leaves more profit for the rich, and less for the middle class.

          1. Like a river travels the path of least resistance, the overwhelming majority of corporations travel the path of least expense.

            It doesn’t matter if you lower corporate taxes and decrease minimum wage, as long as it’s cheaper to use overseas labour and setup offshore tax havens, that’s exactly what corporations will do.

            “REDUCE THE CORPORATE TAX RATE!” is simply the bullshit of wealthy sociopaths, the kind who give themselves huge pay raises and then turn around lay off employees because they have to “cut costs”, the kind who would rather watch their whole business go down in flames than cede a penny.

            To mix metaphores: you chase the reduction of onerous corporate income taxes, you’re chasing a red herring.

          2. No, it’s the labor cost. Raise the wages of people in other countries and they just move to the next cheapest country.

            If it was taxes moreso than labor costs, they’d just move to one tax friendlier nation and stay there. No, they’re going for the ever cheaper worker.

    3. At the expense of the US labor market?

      You realize Apple sells products outside the US right? And that they pay retail employees a wage in the teens? 62% of their revenue comes from outside the US.

    4. It’s not so simple. http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2011/08/16/tax-policy-change-would-bring-cash-piles-abroad-back-home/?src=dlbksb

      “… it is not just a tax issue. Many United States companies want to keep cash abroad to focus on high-growth regions for investments and acquisitions.

      A recent Standard & Poor’s study found that 50 percent of sales by companies in the S.&P. 500-stock index are outside the United States. Interestingly, the report also found that these companies paid more in foreign taxes than to the United States government. For Apple, 60 percent of its sales are abroad, and like these other companies, its foreign sales are expected to only go higher….”

      It’s a cat and mouse game between the corporations and the companies. They are not simply American companies. They are multinational corporations and the tax laws need to be changed to recognize this. One way or another it is better to have the over $1.5 trillion dollar abroad, back here, in the U.S.

    5. Good grief man! Where to start??? First, where were you indoctrinated? Pay their fair share??? What is the fair share? Have you ever paid your fair share? How have you spread your wealth? Are you sure it was fair?

      Notice the first word of your second sentence? It is “They”! Not “You”, Not “Me”, Not “Obama”, Not “Government”, Democrats”, “Liberals”, “Progressives” or any of the sort. Only Apple, with the help of who they employ or contract. Their wealth is based on their products and services. You either want the product or not and pay Apple accordingly. The government didn’t have one damn thing to do with it, be it iPhone or iPad. How much money in the form of tax breaks and tax credits to consumers is the government giving to GM for the electric vehicle Chevy Volt? How many Volts sold? Now ask that of the iPhone/iPad! What government help has it received to make it a success? Nothing… it has succeeded on its own laurels and popularity. Too bad the same can’t be said of the Green Nuts products out there.

      Steve Jobs said he and Apple wants to be good corporate citizens. Like Romney said, Corporations are people too. However, I imagine, as liberal as Jobs is, he shakes his head in disgust at the never ceasing wantonness of the government. Since government spends what it already takes in so foolishly, do they really deserve more?

      Second point of contention… “…pay their fair share of taxes just like Warren Buffet has offered to do”. Why has Buffett only offered? Typical of someone who leans left! I’m so rich I should pay more in taxes! Why don’t you write the government a bigger check? Buffett replies, um, um, um, um…. um….. um.

      Store staff don’t like minimum wage, store staff can find a better paying job OR become their own boss and depend on themselves for their pay. Apple wasn’t created as a corporation with the sole purpose to employ. About time workers start realizing that! When your self employed you show your appreciation for someone giving you work and thus your income because it is not guaranteed. I wonder when was the last time a worker showed their appreciation for their job and not, what’s my pay, how many weeks vacation do I get, how much of my insurance premium do you pay and so on…

      Get rid of Social Nets I say. Maybe then, people will depend on family, church, and community a little more eliminating the need for a federal nanny state. What good has it done anyway, besides creating a dependent lower social economic class society? How is that war on Poverty going? Still have poverty out there. My father is on a fixed federal civil service retirement income and for two years Obama’s government didn’t give a cost of living adjustment because they said there was no inflation. There was no inflation because the government does not include gas or food in their calculation which has gone way up. Had they, the government would be paying their fair share. Don’t ever tell me Obama and the government care for the people after pulling shit like that! It doesn’t matter, I help my father out.

      Finally, at the expense of the US Labor Market is federal government regulations and laws dictating what a corporation will and will not do. These dictates cost money… ever hear of the phrase “unfunded mandate” the feds stipulate what business do but never stipulate how the business gets the money to comply. Right now they are looking at ObamaCare and Dodd-Frank and what those regulations are going to cost them. The labor market can thank Obama and crew as they search for that all elusive job.

      End of Rant…

      1. Name one corporation that has died on the field of battle defending this country. When you can, then corporations MAY be people. Because then you will have to name one corporation that has been executed for deliberately causing the death of a real person (start with a tobacco company, since they are known offenders). If corporations want to be people, they need to be subject to the rules that people follow.

      2. Talk about a rabid dog! Do you also eat your young if they’re not productive enough? You bitch about getting rid of the “Safety Nets”, and then bitch because you Father’s “Safety Net” called CSRS didn’t increase for 2 years. You sound like a fine candidate for the idiot tea party.

    6. “Apple can pay their fair share of taxes just like Warren Buffet has offered to do.”

      Whatever you think his “fair share” is, he will never pay it. Most of his wealth is going straight into the Gates Foundation. The same holds for most of Gates’ wealth. It’ll never be taxed.

  2. Can someone explain the reasoning for this tax? Honestly, I don’t understand it. Has Apple not paid income tax on these earnings, so they get taxed when repatriated? Or is this the government double dipping? How do other countries handle this? Is repatriation compelled? Or are the taxes lower or nonexistent?

    If I weren’t at work, I’d look all this up myself, but since I am, does anyone know the answers?

        1. What you idiots don’t understand is that as more corporations make more and more money overseas, that only lessens the amount of tax revenue the government can levy. So if every business in the USA started outsourcing most of their production(most do now anyway), that means less taxable income here at home… and less taxes means no more military. You do like to be defended, don’t you? How do you feel about jets crashing and falling out of the sky? Well the FAA is funded by Federal Tax Dollars. Does it cost anything less if ALL the money was made overseas? Uhmmm no. The cost of the military and the cost of the FAA, to name two, remain the same. Where exactly do you think the money is going to come from for just those two agencies ?

          You people should brush up on Trickle Down Economics.. and I defy you to find one noted economist who believes that Trickle Down has ever worked, or that it’s what we should be doing now.

          I’ll say it again… Trickle Down Economics DOES NOT WORK. Never Has, Never Will.

    1. If I remember right, or if we are talking the same bill… I haven’t been paying too much attention to this honestly.
      It’s more of a double dip and a punishment.
      Gov makes stupid rules that US companies get around by manufacturing overseas, then get taxed twice. Look up sone of the labor laws that the US requires companies to do, I’m not saying all of them are wrong.. But some just make you question the intelligence of the lawmakers.

    2. Apple has paid taxes on this money. After taxes, it earns more overseas than here, that’s why it’s left there.

      The 5% tax holiday would offset that advantage and offset that advantage.

    3. Well, if I’m not mistaken, these companies are talking about profits they had made overseas. In vast majority of cases, they have already been taxed locally on those. In order to bring that money back to the US, they are required to pay nominal corporate tax on that money, as if it was earned in the US (and never taxed). The money they would be bringing would essentially be what is left after local tax was paid in whatever tax jurisdiction it was earned abroad. So, it would essentially mean double taxation, by two different entities.

      Americans (individual private citizens) are required to pay US tax regardless of where on this planet they have earned their income, and regardless of where (on this planet) they live, and regardless of whether anyone has taxed them on that income already. I believe there are a few bi-lateral agreements with some countries that allow them to not have to pay local income taxes, but I’m not sure (I’m not an American). Same goes for American corporations. The difference is, individuals MUST pay Uncle Sam, while corporations have local offices that are NOT American entities (for the purposes of US taxation), and they hold onto the revenue, so that money never goes back to the US. A good part of Apple’s cash stockpile is in that cash overseas, which will never see American soil, so to speak.

      While private Americans find this a great injustice, they simply have no means to lobby the government for righting this wrong, while corporations do. If the American government allowed their companies to repatriate money earned overseas with very little, symbolic taxation, it would likely have two positive consequences:

      1. The money that comes into the country could be actually spent inside the US (obviously, stimulating domestic economy)
      2. Tax revenue on that money could put a noticeable dent in the massive debt that US government currently has.

      I’d like someone reasonable, sensible and objective to explain to me what would be the down sides and what is the argument behind rejecting this idea. I’m just curious. (and I really hope that political trolls will not completely poison and contaminate this thread beyond reason)

        1. As I mentioned below, most of that money is not actually cash in the bank. It is invested in various types of securities that are considered liquid to be treated as cash for the purpose of the asset reporting.

      1. That’s not true about Americans having to pay tax on monies earned abroad.

        I am an American citizen (born and raised in SC) who now lives and works abroad in Saudi Arabia (because the economy in the southern US is worse than in the rest if the US, and it’s already pretty bad everywhere). I don’t have to pay income tax on te first $92,000 I earn over here each year. Anything above that I get taxed on, but it’s a fairly significant savings getting $92,000 earned income tax-free.

        And although I lean to the left on most issues, I am in full agreement with this tax holiday plan, as it would be incentive for year companies to put a great deal of wealth back into the struggling US economy. It might even mean I could find a good job back home and get out of this god-forsaken hole…

        1. Well,l $92k may not be the poverty line in the US, but it may be awfully close to it in many countries overseas (especially today, with US dollar at its historic lows against many hard currencies). I’m not sure if the $92k line is universal, or if it is dependent on the duty station (city/country) where an American lives.

      2. Individual Americans who work overseas have another option. In Canada, many Americans working here no not pay the American taxes on their Canadian wages, they simply become Canadian citizens and avoid the taxes altogether.

        God knows they’ve paid more than their share in Canada already. It can be over 50% when all three levels of Canadian governments are taking money out of your pockets.

  3. And maybe if we reduced our stupidly high corporate tax rate from the second highest in the world – we would see more manufacturing in this country. Of course, Obama would never do this. But our next President might. After all, even Bill Clinton said this was a wise thing to do. Democrats on the far left – like Obama, Pelosi and Reid – just don’t understand how business work. You want to maximize Treasury revenues not taxes.

    1. Very few corporations pay the actual corporate tax rate except small businesses, and you can blame lobbyists and congress for this. The tax code is so many thousands of pages because of all the special rules and exemptions and credits and other loopholes which apply to very specific industries or even corporations, which all serve to lower or even eliminate their taxes. We could lower the corporate rate by 15% across the board if every corporation paid the same ACTUAL percentage of their earnings, and still collect more revenue for the federal coffers. As it is now, the burden falls largely on small businesses who don’t have much lobbying power. And before making a blanket statement that Democrats just want to tax everything, check how many members of both parties have opposed eliminating unnecessary loopholes for the well-connected. Ask any businessman what he thinks is the most important requirement for him to succeed, and I think the answer will be “customers.” Tax cuts would be lower down the list, which makes sense. Businesses don’t make hiring decisions based on what their tax rate is, but on how much business they have. Having a thriving economy where there are customers would be a key thing. Laying off people to cut expenses enhances the bottom line in the short term, but kills the customer base in the long term. Taxes don’t really enter into it, but obviously if the tax system is inherently unfair and only favors those with strong lobbies and political connection, it puts an unhealthy toll on the small and medium business across this country who have to carry the weight… similar to the individual taxpayers. I’m pretty sure Obama understands this. My question is: do the folks on the right, especially the far right, understand it? I haven’t seen any evidence yet that they do.

  4. Can someone explain this to me? The money that apple has outside the US and not subject to US taxes is money from sales outside the US, right? Apple Spain is incorporated in Spain, sells iPads in Spain, puts the money into Spanish bank accounts, pays taxes in Spain, and spends the money in Spain. Is this what’s going on?

    And bringing the money into the US for use here will mean paying taxes to the US (and presumably California)? Why *not* give them a break? Any cash collected this way from Apple is found money for the USA. Taxes collected on foreigners’ work.

    Or am I missing something?

  5. @ jltnol,

    It’s not about whether they can afford it. As it stands, they won’t pay these taxes at all, because they just leave that money overseas. The point of the plan is to get them to bring that money back to the U.S. and use it to invest in stuff here rather than overseas.

    This is a “long term view” rather than a “short-sighted knee-jerk view”.

  6. “Apple is aligned with Republicans and against the Democratic American President,’ Sutherland reports.”

    Really?

    I think a tax holiday makes a lot of sense. I am all for tax breaks that make sense and this is one of them. However, there are plenty of tax breaks that the Republicans defend while you and I have to flip the bill in order to live in this country. The rich shouldn’t be successful while we carry them on our backs with tax breaks. They should be successful for their hard work and pay like everyone else.

    What we need is cooperation between government and private industry to work hand in hand instead of against each other.

    1. Regarding the rich… You do know MEES, that the rich are the only ones who actually pay income taxes? The bottom 50% of wage earners pay nothing. Zero. Zip. And some of those lower 50% actually make money from the deal. So, please, spare us the tired rhetoric how the rich are being carried on the backs of the poor.

      1. Figurative,

        Your statement is extremely misleading. The bottom 50% barely make enough for a decent living, which is why they aren’t required to pay the tax. The top 3% of America earns over 25% of all income. The disproportion between the middle class and the rich is far, far higher than any other country in the world. The rich accumulate so much wealth that even a 90% tax rate would not affect their standard of living meaningfully. Meanwhile, for the majority of population that is in middle class (earning $150k or less), is seriously affected by a 5% tax increase (which often represents hundreds of dollars every month.

        Here is an example. There is a factory that makes wickets. Workers in that factory are paid $40,000 per year. Factory owner is an extremely successful businessman, so his factory generates some $24M in profits per year after taxes and other expenditures. Let us say, he has some 300 workers there. All of their salaries make up $12M, so he takes the other $12M as his own salary. The workers pay their own income tax at whatever is the rate in their tax bracket. Even if his own tax bracket were 90%, he’d still be left with $1.2M of income (the amount he’d pay 40 workers, before taxes!).

        There is nothing disproportionate with this story, as there are many medium and large businesses where profit distribution is extremely heavily skewed towards the top management and away from those who produce the products/services. I would really love to hear reasonable arguments why does this disproportion have to be so drastic in America.

        1. Um, you may not like this, but reality is the company you work for pays 50% of your taxes. It is a shared tax, you pay half, the company pays half- which is on top of the salary they pay you.

      2. Figurative,

        I know this is going to be touch to watch, but Jon Stewart nails the mathematics of either taxing the bottom 50% of the country, or the top 2% of the country.

        Essentially, giving half of everything the bottom own to the government would equal $700 billion. Half of everything they fscking own. Half. Of everything they have in their possession.

        But raising the income tax rates of the top 2% would raise the same amount of money – $700 billion.

        Here it is: http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-august-18-2011/world-of-class-warfare—warren-buffett-vs–wealthy-conservatives

        Note: I’m a Canadian. I just finished up touring the west coast for the last month and a half, and I like your country, but your divide between rich and poor is despicable. Fix that.

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