Apple prepares for Washington onslaught: CEO Tim Cook isn’t taking any chances with senators looking to grandstand

“Apple isn’t taking any chances with senators looking to embarrass CEO Tim Cook on Tuesday at a hearing on the tech giant’s offshore $100 billion stash,” Anna Palmer reports for Politico. “Monday night lawmakers were already gearing up, unveiling a report that alleges Apple avoided paying taxes on $44 billion in offshore, taxable income.”

“A Senate panel says Apple did not break the law but did find a new way to limit its tax burden — three of its subsidiaries in Ireland do not pay income taxes to any country,” Palmer reports. “To deal with the nasty optics, Apple has turned to a top Washington law firm for help, O’Melveny & Myers – veterans at trying to keep big companies out of trouble, like Enron, Ford and Goldman Sachs.”

“Firms like O’Melveny & Myers work closely with committee investigators to track down what CEOs can expect to face. And they try to limit the scope of the investigation before the hearing even takes place,” Palmer reports. “Apple has also sent its own hired guns to Capitol Hill for recon duty. Their mission: find out the planned line of questioning and expose any surprises senators plan to air. Meanwhile, Cook and two other top execs are doing their homework in Apple’s Washington office, which has become ground zero for the company’s preparations.”

Read more in the full article here.

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Watch Apple CEO Tim Cook’s live testimony before U.S. Senate, starting at 9:30am EDT – May 21, 2013
U.S. Senate investigation found no evidence that Apple did anything illegal in avoiding taxes – May 20, 2013
Apple’s U.S. tax fallout set to have global impact – May 20, 2013
Hagens Berman investigating Apple Inc., others regarding tax-avoidance schemes; seeks whistleblower information – May 20, 2013
Grandstanding U.S. Senate panel expected to castigate Apple CEO Tim Cook for leading U.S.’s largest corporate income taxpayer – May 20, 2013
Apple publishes full testimony to be given before the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee – May 20, 2013
Apple CEO Tim Cook to propose ‘dramatic simplification’ of U.S. corporate tax laws – May 18, 2013
Apple CEO Tim Cook to propose U.S. tax reform for offshore cash – May 17, 2013
Apple CEO Tim Cook goes on offense in Washington D.C. over $100 billion offshore cache – May 16, 2013


  1. Why don’t these Senators do some real work and get this country back on track instead of targeting the worlds most valuable company (USA Home Grown you stupid a-holes Sen) who employs thousands of Americans. A home grown company that has changed how we work and live for the freaking better! You Senators need to focus on the Asian markets that are ripping us off and profiting from it. Do some real good for once.

  2. Any one may so arrange his affairs that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which will best pay the Treasury; there is not even a patriotic duty to increase one’s taxes. Gregory v. Helvering, 69 F.2d 809, 810 (2d Cir. 1934)

    1. I did to Senators McCain, Johnson, Portman and Ayotte. I will not waste my time writing to Senator Levin. He was so clearly set astray by his staffers or advisors or campaign contributors that nothing I (or a million non-Michigan voters) could say would matter one little bit.

  3. Apple in Ireland isn’t a new thing. As far as I’m aware, they started up in Cork in 1981 or earlier, and Cork has been Apple’s European head office ever since. I’ve been dealing with Apple for about years and until official Apple stores opened in the UK, any phone call to Apple was always answered with a charming Cork accent.

    Over the last thirty years or so, Cork has been proud that Apple chooses to operate from there. In the 1980’s, Apple had no need to take advantage of favourable tax regimes but over the years, Irish revenue departments have offered attractive tax concessions to Apple. There is nothing remotely illegal about this sort of deal, it happens all the time to all sorts of businesses in most countries. What’s changed is that Apple now has built up an immense pot of gold and everybody is involved in an undignified struggle trying to get their filthy hands on it.

  4. Watching Mr. Levin during the proceedings on C-SPAN, I was reminded of the movie Tin Men and testimony in front of the Home Improvement Commission. I think Mr. Levin used that movie as inspiration for his questioning and demeanor.

    Tim Cook and team are doing a great job!

  5. Apple was founded the same year Senator Levin was elected to the US Senate. So while he’s been creating this Byzantine tax code Apple has been creating jobs, wealth, and taxes.

    I’m embarrassed by Senator Levin’s attack on Apple.

  6. Levin is such an asshole. I want to climb through this screen and just throttle him. He won’t even let them answer. He will not SHUT UP. Please shut up!

    He looks like Grandpa Munster’s twin, except Grandpa Munster wasn’t an asshole.

  7. Now Sen. Levin is trying to make the case that profits on sales made overseas are taxable in the US because those procucts were desiged in the US? Is he trying to make the case that intelectual property is taxable? Does he want to chase our high-tech companies overseas?

    1. The fact is that the ‘US Tax Man’ has NO RIGHT to ANY profits made overseas by ANY company.

      The problem is convincing companies to bring that money over to the USA, by their good graces. That is solved by providing a tax incentive. Tim Cook provided guidance as to how to achieve that incentive, which is exactly what he had to do. Cook contributed to the solving the problem. Levin only ruined his own reputation. John McCain was at least friendly, but he too provided ZERO guidance as to how to solve the problem. IOW: Both parties train wrecked this opportunity to get the damned problem solved.

  8. The second session of the hearing just ended. I called this hearing a farce. If it wasn’t already, Senator Karl Levin made damned sure it was. He went into rant mode, repeating himself over and over and over and over attempting to force the word “SHIFT” down Apple’s throat, interrupting every attempt by Apple to provide the actual facts. Then, after providing not-an-iota of a suggestion of how to fix the problem, he finishes with what we knew without any of this hearing: That the 35% tax rate for “repatriating” profits from overseas into the USA is TOO DAMNED HIGH.

    The hearings have been great for watching Apple make it’s point. The hearings at this point, 2/3 through, have been WORTHLESS at solving the problem.

    Karl Levin: Take your Aricept and get out of politics. You not only made a fool of yourself. You made a fool of the US Senate. Shame on you. It’s time for someone with active, creative and contributive brain cells to take over your job.

    Meanwhile, Tim Cook, Peter Oppenheimer and Phillip A. Bullock were brilliant in their calmness, earnestness and friendliness in light of Senator Karl Levin’s combative senility.

      1. It’s Senator Karl Levin who’s hanging himself. I would imagine a lot of Democrats AND Republicans would enjoy taking a piano wire to his neck then burying him at sea wearing a pair of cement boots. Levin’s senility is reflecting badly on the entire Senate.

        If folks want to see exactly how socialism eats itself alive, watch and listen to Senator Karl Levin in video copies of these hearings. He’s a classic dire socialist, nutjob to the core.

  9. We might note for the benefit of the Tim Cook haters around here that the oft-repeated claim that “every time Cook speaks the stock drops” is confronted by today’s stock price behavior: While Tim was talking the stock was up by over $7. When he recessed from the hearing the stock dropped back and is now climbing out of negative territory.

  10. Here we go with Part 3 with Levin shoving ‘SHIFTED REVENUES’ into everyone’s faces, as if Apple owed a penny of its foreign profits to the US government. It does NOT. Neither does any other company.

    IOW: Senator Carl Levin is ranting on and on that foreign profit taxes are OWED to the US government. He is 100% wasting everyone’s time. So are the puppet commentators he’s blethering with at the moment. Levin is a DIRE SOCIALIST. This is the garbage that ruins the reputation of what SHOULD be actual, factual PROGRESSIVE government / politics.

    Concept: A physical arena with weapons of choice that battles extremist liberals (IOW Karl Levin) with extremist neo-conservatives (take your pick of the ‘Tea Party’ tards). I’d be in the bleachers cheering on BOTH sides to kill each other off. No more lunatics in my government, ever!

  11. Monday night Senator Levin said, “The secret to Apple’s business success isn’t in the aluminum and the steel and the glass of an iPhone. The genius is the ideas that bring those elements together in an elegant package. That intangible genius is intellectual property… nurtured and developed here in the United States.”

    Well, Senator Law Maker, how is the good ol’ US Patent system protecting Apple’s intellectual property these days?

  12. If I were Tim Cook, I’d run a spreadsheet to compare the $7B in US corporate income tax expected this year against the cost of moving Cupertino R&D, lock, stock and barrel (every employee and family) to a more friendly country.

    I’ll wager that it would be cheaper for Apple to buy everyone’s US homes and move all their kit to Ireland than to pay that tax. And give Senator Levin a gesture common throughout the world.

    But Tim said Apple is proud to be an American company.

    Still, Tim?

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