Wonder if Apple’s $82.6 billion overseas cash holdings came up in Obama and Tim Cook’s weekend chat?

“One of the business leaders President Obama called last weekend before he began his Southeast Asia visit was Apple CEO Tim Cook,” Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports for Fortune.

“The President met with a dozen CEOs last week to talk about the so-called fiscal cliff, and he reached out to four more over the weekend, including Cook,” P.E.D. reports. “The White House did not disclose the subject of their chat, but it’s not hard to guess.”

P.E.D. reports, “Apple, which has shipped almost all its manufacturing work to Asia, has lobbied heavily for a tax holiday that would allow it to ‘repatriate’ some the cash it has accumulated overseas — i.e. spend it in the U.S without having to pay federal taxes on it.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Obama discusses ‘fiscal cliff’ with Apple CEO Tim Cook, Warren Buffett, Jamie Dimon – November 19, 2012
Apple’s showdown with the U.S. government over taxes on offshore cash – July 13, 2012
Apple‘s $74 billion tops list of U.S. tech companies’ overseas cash – July 9, 2012
Apple’s dividend move puts spotlight on foreign cash holdings, repatriation tax reform – March 20, 2012
Apple: Good start; and what about the overseas cash? – March 19, 2012
Apple’s foreign cash hoard piles up: $54 billion and rapidly growing – January 11, 2012
Senator John McCain eyes Apple’s $54 billion overseas cash pile – November 3, 2011
Google joins Apple in push for U.S. repatriation tax holiday – October 3, 2011
Apple lobbies Obama for tax holiday, wants to bring overseas bounty home – August 24, 2011
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
Apple, Oracle, Duke Energy, others organize lobbying blitz for tax holiday – February 17, 2011


  1. … US taxes on the money it earned overseas.
    Why should it?
    It has, though, paid the taxes in the countries it earned the money in. As it should. Why should the US expect Apple to pay taxes twice? It hardly expects the Top 1% to pay taxes ONCE!

    1. Not to mention the local taxes or VAT already paid in those respective countries. The government loves taxes upon taxes upon taxes. Gasoline taxes the tax which should be illegal. Ultimately Apple will spend their hoard on things that will end up as yet another tax revenue source for the government. They shoot themselves in the foot be denying this money to be repatriated without a severe tax penalty.

        1. Well, you may look at it that way, but an iMac costs $1,300 in America because you can order it from an out-of-state reseller and you’ll pay no retail tax. Even if you buy it from Apple, all you’re paying is the negligible retail tax (which is well below 10% in vast majority of US states). Meanwhile, in UK (indeed, most of EU), that retail tax is close to 20%. In order to be competitive, Apple prices their gear based on the purchasing power of the consumer. If that purchasing power is further eroded by the 19% VAT, the retail price will have to be that much lower in order to attract the buyer. So, while Apple does NOT pay internal revenue authorities monies directly from the sale of each Mac, phone or iPod, they do end up earning less because of the high VAT taxes.

    1. It has to be done right. Don’t give a holiday, instead tax it normally while simultaneously providing 100% tax credits for constructive uses of that money.

      There’s an enormous amount of money out there between Apple, IBM, Microsoft, McDonald’s, Coca Cola, etc. etc. etc.
      That could all make a nice shot in the arm for the economy, and it would essentially be free, as that money is not coming back otherwise. It’s a no-brainer.

  2. Bamma: I need your cash because Rummy lost a Trillion dollars….the records of which were conveniently destroyed during 911 when the missile…..er I mean plane (of which we can’t find any engine parts or wing parts) hit the pentagon at the EXACT place where these records were kept.

  3. Every other Western economy has agreements in place for companies and individuals to only pay tax on earnings once. All the USA has to do is join the other major industrialised nations and all that money will flood back to North America.

    This shouldn’t be a tax holiday, it should be a permanent thing. A one-off payment of hundreds of billions of dollars worth of investment topped up with an annual input of tens of billions would do wonders for the US.

  4. We buy goods from other countries and send them our money. Since we buy more than we sell as a country, there is a monumental trade deficit.

    Here is a company that has figured out a way to get some of that money back but is hindered from actually bringing it back in our borders because of the government’s insatiable appetite for spending money.

    The financial foolishness of our nation is really quite sad.

    1. The current method of doing things is not even justifiable from a fiscal point of view. If that money came back to the USA marked as already taxed it would be spent and distributed in the USA, leading to other taxes being collected because it’s there and moving through the system. It would also generate economic activity, leading to less out-of-work people and therefore more people paying income and sales taxes. The government might miss out on the primary source of tax income from the overseas cash, but they’d gain that back from other avenues.

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