Woz on taxes: It’s really not fair that businesses are not treated the same as people

“The co-founder of Apple has said big corporations should be treated the same as individuals for tax purposes,” BBC News reports. “Steve Wozniak was speaking in Londonderry [UK] at a business conference.”

Woz said:

People are not taxed on profit, they are taxed on income, corporations should be taxed the same as people in my mind, that is how it should be, that would make things fair and right. That means corporations pay taxes on all of their revenues or people only pay it on a tiny amount called profit and until we rectify that the whole problem is just with us forever.

That is why the rich get richer and the poor get poorer and I am always for the individual being much more important than their training, same reason I created the Apple computer at the start, it was to empower the little guy.

Why do businessmen get to write off lunches and cars? If normal people did they would have more savings. That is really not fair, that businesses are not treated the same as people. A person would say, ‘my life is my business and I have to pay for my home, pay for my clothes, my food and what is left over if I make a little money some year and put it in savings, that is my profit’, but people are not taxed on profit, they are taxed on income. – Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, May 30, 2013

Full article here.

62 Comments

    1. Even if cut all possible and impossible spendings from the budget, then still the country would be going bankrupt.

      Remember that Reagan has cut taxes and by the end of 1988 he tripled national debt. In his second term he had to raise taxes back eleven times, or else the debt would be fivefold to what it was back in 1980s.

      So idea of cutting taxes looks good only until country goes bankrupt from incredible debt it accumulates from that.

      1. So right, except for pointing out that tax cuts won’t work WITHOUT BUDGET CUTS in sync. Of course, GDP went up as well. More jobs…. I mean, argue all you want, it’s collectivism vs independence. Private property vs communal property. Right now, you and your comrade Marxists are winning the argument. But when the 99 percent become like Cuba, Venezuela, don’t go crying in your powdered milk about it.

        1. The point is that, as I wrote, even if you will do all of the cuts in the world, you will still bankrupt the country. So you have to have taxes.

          Not to say that there is nothing to cut: USA has hundreds of military bases and about half of million of excessive military personal, which requires hundreds of billions of expenses.

          1. Military spending is peanuts compared to amount spent on social programs for deadbeats and illegal aliens. Our military is essential for our freedom and protection. Illegals, deadbeats, and all other lazy fucks aren’t.
            If corporations are taxed then they should be able vote as many times as they have shareholders. Otherwise its taxation without representation. Corporations are entities, not individuals. They provide the jobs so individuals can pay taxes on their earnings.

            1. Corporations are legal entities, usually created for the purpose of limiting liability. Corporations do not exist to provide jobs.

              Now get up off your knees, Pull that corporate cock out of your mouth and stop being such a willing slave…

      2. So wrong. First, a President has no power to cut taxes, nor to increase them. Only Congress can do either, and the President can either sign the bill or veto it.

        Next, the ‘Reagan tax cuts’ which Congress passed were phased in over 3 years, blunting their effect, but nevertheless, revenue doubled because of the great increase in economic activity from the rate cuts, and that boom lasted all the way into the mid 90’s.

        Republicans try to have it both ways, claiming that “Reagan cut taxes” and also claiming that ‘Reagan doubled revenue.”

        The truth is that the tax rate cuts Reagan advocated doubled our taxes, but the Congress managed to outspend even that huge increase.

        In my view, if a tax cut results in increased revenue, then taxes haven’t been cut nearly enough. The last thing I want to see is more of our hard earned money being shoveled into the gaping maw of government.

        1. re “The last thing I want to see is more of our hard earned money being shoveled into the gaping maw of government.”

          YEHH!!! I’m so sick of all the stupid ways the federal and state governments waste money on trivial, unneeded projects:

          – Defense
          – Social security
          – Medicare for those over 65. Screw them.
          – Medicaid. They all, of course, choose to be poor.
          – The interstate system
          – All the other roads
          – Bridges
          – Those poncy, elitist libraries and museums
          – Education
          – Basic and applied scientific research
          – Veterans benefits – yeh, they’re not doing a good job, but they could make it a lot worse. That would save a lot of money.
          – Unemployment insurance. Let ’em starve. There are, as everyone knows, plenty of jobs if someone wants one.
          – International affairs: embassies, overt and covert activities
          – The federal legal system. We can just get rid of all that. Less regulation. Let people do what they want. “Market forces” will take care of regulating them.
          – Prisons

          And much more…

  1. and Woz’s experience with corporate tax law is….? Stick to Segway polo and dancing with babes, Steve. We don’t care what you think, particularly your near fatal closed head injury.

      1. @GM
        I reread my reply – I was too harsh. But you have to agree that Woz has been out of corporate life since his early retirement, right? And we can all agree that tax law is strange, byzantine, and completely contrived to serve The Man.
        That was my sentiment although I came across as an a**hole. Let’s be friends. My apologies to all.

        1. re “My apoogies…”

          Nicely said, dan. That’s classy. Thanks.

          And for what it’s worth, my response between the first and this way to say what you thought about Woz’s statement went from “asshole – jerk – asshole” to “yup, I agree with that – and that – and that”.

        2. Yes he has been out of corporate life for decades. He was never well-suited for corporate life anyway. Just like Steve Jobs, Woz says what he thinks. Sometimes that’s good and sometimes that’s bad. Depending on how you want things to sound. Woz was never interested in making money. He wanted to give his original computer away free. Steve Jobs wanted to make money on it. They were different people. And not much doubt about who is the better human being. If you knew him you would understand him. He just says what he thinks. Sometimes it doesn’t fit with Apple fanboys. But that’s not his purpose in life. He’s just honest to a fault. As for the tax laws? It’s a mess. But it beats living in Iran.

    1. You can tell a right winger by his response to an opinion different than their own. Reminds me of Jr. High.

      As was said above: “He is entitled to his opinion you know.”

      If you have a different opinion why not give it, rather than call him names.

    2. re “Why doesn’t the fat lard give his entire income away to the taxman and shut his frigging mouth.”

      It’s really peculiar how for right-wingers, their supposedly beloved “FREEDOM” actually means, “Free to express your opinion and do what you want, as long as it’s fairly close to our right-wing principles.”

      (And don’t accuse me of doing the same — I’m happy for you express your opinion. I’d just like you to show some modicum of respect for others… some kind of minimum of politeness… combined with an actual idea, rather than just this vomit.”

  2. Um, profit IS income, Woz- it’s listed on the Income Statement of every corporation. Besides, the complexity of the financial in’s and out’s between individuals and corporations is dramatic. Woz- quit while you’re ahead.

    1. Dell profited nothing – so says their books. Year over year the company is losing profits and so the government is paying Dell for the lose. Taxing only on profit, nah – is that true? Come on. Tariff taxes, shipping costs, those things are paid for and a percentage is deducted from taxation. If a company wasn’t being taxed heavily it wouldn’t send manufacturing over seas. Remember, a company pays its employees benefits and wages, deducts a calculation of taxes owing to the government – the cost of running the business including taxes to lease property or own it is high such that they flee to better gain profits.

    2. As a matter of fact, that is almost true. A company, no matter how large or small, doesn’t pay taxes if they are claiming a loss for the year. Many small business owners will use this to offset their spouses income to reduce the family’s total tax burden. In the case of Dell, they would have to show a operational loss for their fiscal year and then be prepared to defend that position. (From both wall street and auditors)

  3. Woz is fundamentally wrong. People are not taxed on income: the adjusted gross income, which is income minus deductions (whether itemized or standard) + exemptions, parallels the profit that corporations pay. It may be called a type of income, but both individuals and business get to reduce their taxable income by some proportion of expenses. Simplifying the tax code for everyone would be nice, but businesses are not the same as people in the economic realm and there is no logical reason to treat them exactly the same way.

  4. Everybody gets this wrong. Apple should pay $0 worth of taxes. Big statement yes, but think about this. How many times should stockholders pay income taxes on the same income. As it is now, Apple pays a income tax yearly. And the stockholder has to be capital gains taxes on the money that Apple distributes to them. So that same income is taxed twice. That’s what’s unfair about the entire tax structure. Stockholder’s should be taxed twice for their income.

    1. The whole double-taxation thing is a myth. Corporations get special legal status and insulate the shareholders from risk. In exchange for that special treatment, the corporation pays income tax.

    2. My paycheque has deductions before I can deposit it.
      I am taxed about 1/3 of my weekly salary.
      I deposit my cheque to the bank.
      As my money sits there it accumulates minor interest.
      I must pay a service fee to the bank to manage my account.
      I go to the store and buy a Dvd, which I am taxed on.
      At years end, calculations show I owe still more taxes.

      You tell me (twice I am taxed)… ha ha ha.

      LETS review:

      Taxed before I get money.
      Taxed on my money earning interest.
      Taxed by spending my money.
      Charged for accessing my money.
      Taxed in the end.

      5 times and I am sure i simplified this far too much.

      LIFE COSTS MONEY.
      And the Government has their hands
      in my pocket before all others.

  5. A vast majority of expenses of a corporation are the costs of doing business, mostly needs.

    The vast majority of expenses of a person are the costs of life, mostly wants.

    This is a gross simplification. But the reason they are not treated the same, is that they are not in deed the same.

    1. “The vast majority of expenses of a person are the costs of life, mostly wants.”

      you don’t really mean that do you?

      Many mothers out there who run a household would disagree with you point blank. They rarely run a house based on wants but by needs of the family. And if she is a single mother with children, her income and tax filing covers all the members of her unit. There are certain tax breaks for her as she has many dependants – but you think her life are COSTS for LIFE?

      GIve me a break…

      Business needs. Totally laughable. Business is in business for one things PROFITS… its only desire is to earn large amounts of money. And it requires to pay its employees and benefits, cover materials and supply systems… all needs to run a business – but that BUSINESS does not exist because it NEEDS too… it WANTS to — because of profit and the CEOs typically gain the most over all other employees for efforts far less important than those of team members. Needs and wants… stop over simplify this world. Please.

    2. Totally right. If people would just stop being so greedy about wanting food, water and shelter, and be more like some people who choose to do business which creates “needs” that are necessary to feed their need of profit, then….

      Wait, what?

      I would say “gross simplification” is an extremely charitable description of the point you tried to make.

      Seems like you’ve gone all the way to the side of corporations being people, but actual people not being people.

  6. I believe there are legal clauses approved by government that state a Corporation is considered an individual – and so I think Woz has a good point.

    People are taxed Woz on personal gain, profit is essentially no different, earning interest on your money is gain. One profits from their own money. Taxable.

    Regular folks can write off expenses such as travel costs to work. This issue is more about educated empowerment and knowledge to the little guy how to invest and save and avoid being felt over taxed. Teach those things and the regular little guys will stick their money in Ireland banks also.

    1. what happens to a nation that parks
      its earning outside of its country?

      banks and institutions earn also from loaning the money you park with them – banks pay taxes on their earnings you get a little kick back called interest – the money essentially use to stay within the same country… pull all that out and let it stay in some other country – then multiply that for the entire nation – guess what happens – the country without the money and no taxes — collapses

  7. Woz might have a point if corporations had the same liability or, when convicted for malfeasance, faced a commeasurate penalty that the individual faces. Ever seen a corporation get anything more than a piddly fine for its felonies and misdemeanors? Of course not – not even in Texas. Did anyone from Countrywide go to jail? How many insider trading brokers face any justice at all?

    A corporation is specifically designed to eliminate personal responsibility — and what’s worse, the unaccountable leaders cannot be replaced by the public no matter how much damage is inflicted, pollution is dumped, child labor exploited, forests razed, etc. Only long after the damage is done does the public realize and act to solve the problem. Problem is, Superfund sites are cleaned up not by corporations that abused their power, but by government taxation on the victims of the crime.
    Multinational corporations should be bound by international laws ensuring they act responsibly. which should also include personal liability and mechanism for replacement of the medieval lords that we now call CEOs.

    …and that’s even before we get to the subject of lobbying the government and election funding — with the hordes of wealth that multinational companies control, they now fund the candidates (i.e., parties) they wish, write the speeches for the politicians, and write the bills and earmarks for congress as well. Corporate executives control the world, but answer to no one but their own conscious — which in many cases can only be described as psychotic. Greed is lethal to the health of civilization and our very planet, but it is the only emotion a corporation knows. What’s sad is that the endless propaganda by these corporations has convinced otherwise intelligent people that nothing — not the health of the people, not the cleanliness of our planet, not the wildlife diversity, and certainly not humanitarian needs — should ever get between the “hard working” corporate executives and the almighty dollar (or BitCoin, since now corporations have resorted to money laundering to evade even more of their civic responsibilities).

    1. You sir can be my friend, you get it, you have three things most of this conservaturds could really use:

      1. Open Eyes
      2. A brain
      3. A heart

      Well done sir!

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