Apple’s Tax Avoidance Detailed

Report looks closely at Apple’s methods of sidestepping taxes

The NY Times is at it again, this time accusing Apple (and other hot-shot companies) of side-stepping taxes in order to maximize profits.

We’re not going to delve into the specifics, since most people will want to hear it directly from those who made the original accusations. The problem is that it’s legal, according to the report.

Apple’s accountants are said to have found legal ways to allocate roughly three quarters of its profits overseas, where tax rates are much lower.

Apple, Google, Cisco and others reportedly pay lobbyists a lot of cash to ensure that some legal loopholes don’t get closed.

Apple defends itself in a statement, stating it “has conducted all of its business with the highest of ethical standards, complying with applicable laws and accounting rules.” It added, “We are incredibly proud of all of Apple’s contributions.”

Apple’s people added that the company “pays an enormous amount of taxes, which help our local, state and federal governments. In the first half of fiscal year 2012, our U.S. operations have generated almost $5 billion in federal and state income taxes, including income taxes withheld on employee stock gains, making us among the top payers of U.S. income tax.”

Brian Murphy, head of De Anza College in Cupertino, California, says tech giants like Apple are “philosophically antitax:”

“When it comes time for all these companies — Google and Apple and Facebook and the rest — to pay their fair share, there’s a knee-jerk resistance,” Mr. Murphy said. “They’re philosophically antitax, and it’s decimating the state.”

“But I’m not complaining,” he added. “We can’t afford to upset these guys. We need every dollar we can get.”

Kimberly Clausing, an economist at Reed College who specializes in multinational taxation, is also quoted by the NY Times. She reportedly said: “The information on 10-Ks is fiction for most companies. But for tech companies it goes from fiction to farcical.”

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