During the last presidential election, President Obama used an effective class warfare strategy to portray his opponent, Mitt Romney, as an out-of-touch rich guy who enjoyed special privileges. Now one of the most beloved tech companies in the world, headquartered in Cupertino, Calif., Apple, is drawing some of the same scrutiny.
Money the company makes overseas escapes U.S. taxes because of a tax shelter in Ireland. The company has an address there, but not a single employee. The company has paid little or no tax on its overseas operations that, according to congressional investigators, earned the company $74 billion between 2009 and 2012. And it’s all perfectly legal.
Apple is, by far, not the only corporation to pursue such a tax strategy. But Apple’s corporate tax avoidance culture is on steroids. Even with its billions of dollars on hand, it decided to borrow $17 billion to avoid bringing some of the overseas earnings home where it could be taxed.
Congress is rightfully upset, but this practice didn’t begin with the invention of the iPhone. The loopholes in our tax code are more like craters, and only Congress has the power to fill them in, something its promised to do.
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So the next time you pull out your iPhone or iPad and marvel at the technology, you are also looking at one of the reasons individual taxpayers filled the federal bucket with $1.1 trillion, according to The New York Times, while corporations only paid deposited $181 billion.