U.S. SEC demands extra information from Apple on taxes, foreign cash

“Apple Inc. will give investors more information about its overseas cash and related tax policies, following a review by the Securities and Exchange Commission over the summer, according to correspondence released Thursday,” Maxwell Murphy reports for The Wall Street Journal.

“The SEC demanded additional disclosures about Apple’s fiscal-2012 annual report, including ‘a more tailored discussion’ of risks associated with Apple’s tax structure,” Murphy reports. “It also asked Apple to detail the names and tax rates of the countries where Apple houses its foreign cash.”

“Apple Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer told the SEC that it believes its disclosures are sufficient, and doesn’t think its tax structure presents a ‘material risk,'” Murphy reports. “However, the company agreed to provide more information to investors in future filings. Mr. Oppenheimer also said its $40.4 billion in accumulated foreign profits as of Sept. 29, 2012, were generated mostly by Irish subsidiaries. He cited Ireland’s 12.5% tax rate, and noted that most countries have lower tax rates than the U.S.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The U.S. corporate tax rate is obviously too high.

Under the current U.S. corporate tax system, it would be very expensive to repatriate that cash. Unfortunately, the tax code has not kept up with the digital age. The tax system handicaps American corporations in relation to our foreign competitors who don’t have such constraints on the free flow of capital… Apple has always believed in the simple, not the complex. You can see it in our products and the way we conduct ourselves. It is in this spirit that we recommend a dramatic simplification of the corporate tax code. This reform should be revenue neutral, eliminate all corporate tax expenditures, lower corporate income tax rates and implement a reasonable tax on foreign earnings that allows the free flow of capital back to the U.S. We make this recommendation with our eyes wide open, realizing this would likely increase Apple’s U.S. taxes. But we strongly believe such comprehensive reform would be fair to all taxpayers, would keep America globally competitive and would promote U.S. economic growth.Apple CEO Tim Cook, May 21, 2013

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34 Comments

    1. Apple it targeted because it doesn’t spend much money on lobbying and it is a popular, well-known and highly successful company. Google, Amazon and Microsoft (wisely) spend many multiples on lobbying than Apple. See the anti-trust case against Apple for iBookstore as more evidence.

      The Obama administration’s motto: You will rue the day you didn’t do as we ordered.

        1. You are a fool. The Government can’t keep spending money they don’t have. Well, maybe you think they can but at some point the debt will be called. It doesn’t matter if you lean to one party or the other, the over spending has to stop. Grow up and take a financial class for gods sake.

          1. … maybe if the Top 1% would start paying their tax bills? Or, better yet, a fair share of their obscene profits looted from the workers pockets? Maybe THEN the government would have more money to spend. Clinton left a surplus and Bush spent it on wars and on tax cuts for the Top 1%! Obama is reducing the deficit, and the Tea Party clowns want to spend more money monitoring women’s vaginas. Seriously?
            And you have the NERVE to call ME a fool? Do you believe nobody pays attention? Nobody sees what you are up to?

            1. Uhh go F yourself.
              Sounds like someone is jealous of other peoples money.
              Maybe you should figure out that it takes money to spend money, and for a company to grow and be able to hire in more, there are tax breaks.
              Easy to leave a surplus when there wasn’t much going on!
              Another bleeding heart liberal, I hope you get fired.

            2. Yea right, we’ve seen how effective puddle-down economics works. Instead of investing in workers and their company’s, they’ve shoved the extra money in their pockets. Salaries have been flat for the past 20 years, companies continue to outsource, even with tax break and incentives to not do so.

              Give workers more money, and they’ll spend more, pumping more money into the economy. Give billionaires more money, and they just sit on it, with no benefit to the economy. Extreme greed is the new paradigm for the elite.

              That why I will only shop at Costco for my big box purchases. Their workers get paid $18 an hour, with even part timers getting medical insurance. Unlike Wal-Mart, which pays its workers $8.50 an hour, with no medical. Many Wal-Mart workers qualify and collect food stamps to have enough money to feed their families. Basically, that’s corporate welfare. Plus those workers most likely purchase their food at Wal-Mart, pumping even more money into the hands of the greedy Walton family. They’re all laughing all the way to the bank, yelling suckers.

            3. Not all of them shove extra $ in their pockets.
              There are a lot of people who have money, that invest and that is all they make their money from.
              I don’t shop at Wal-Mart simply because
              I don’t need to, and it’s out of my way, and it’s in the ghetto filled with ghetto dirtballs. (the nearest one to me)

              You have to make money to spend money period.
              It works both ways, I understand that.
              I am sorry but if I was making $8.50 an hour, I would think “ya know, gee I need to make more money, maybe I should not plan on this being my career job and only temporary”.
              Ya think?

            4. If you collect the top 1 percent total wealth, how long would it last?
              The government should be far more transparent. The President down to local officials should be heald to much higher standards. Clean up the tax code and list all “revenue” as a tax and in total on every bill or purchase and paycheck- clearly listed. Maybe then people will monitor what is taken out verse what is spent. Sadly, most can only give information on sports. Watch the ignorance appear when you speak about the government.

    1. They are. Apple pays all the taxes it owes in the countries in which it sells devices/services. It’s just not bringing those profits back into the U.S. because they would be taxed again, and so Apple chooses to keep the money offshore and use it for international business.

      Think about it like this: If you worked in Germany for a year, paid your German income taxes but saved $20,000, then moved back to the U.S. and had the IRS tell you that you would have to pay 20% of that $20,000 that you already paid taxes on if you bring it back, would you bring it back? Or would you keep it overseas and not pay additional taxes knowing you were going back to Germany next year?

    1. How about this, build their own island like the Arabs did with Palm Island in Dubai. But build it somewhere at least 12 miles offshore the US coast. Now that would be a slap in the government’s face.Just a crazy thought.

  1. There will never be an overseas tax break. Wouldn’t Apple be better served to just put its overseas cash to work, try to double it and bring it back a little at a time while paying the taxes? It doesn’t make much sense to just have that money sitting in a bank doing nothing and just hoping for a tax holiday.

  2. …and the private information all iPhone and Mac users, secret encryption keys and latest, access to fingerprint data on new iPhone.

    What else would we expect from Ohitler?

    HEIL Obaba and all you ASSHOLES who voted for this asshole.

  3. Their practice of selling all their stuff via an Ireland subsidiary which then onsells them at nearly RRP to all other countries is pretty sleazy, I think. It hurts every economy they do retail business in.

    Apple Australia buys everything from Apple International in Ireland, at nearly RRP, then hardly makes any profit here (technically) and therefore little local tax, and all the money stays in Ireland.

    It’s “clever” but against the spirit of fair practice.

    1. How quaint and absolutely clueless you are. The fact that Ireland has relatively low taxes and that Apple and other international companies are still permitted to benefit from the comparatively low tax rate is a blessing.

      Governments with higher tax rates would very much like to see that kind of competition disappear thru new laws and regulations. They try every day. High tax Governments like the US would rather force companies like Apple to pay US taxes on their overseas earnings that have already been taxed so they can continue to spend.

      You have to ask yourself, are you rooting for Governments or private enterprise? The answer to that is a good indicator of which side of the socioeconomic prism you view the world from.

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