Apple Releases Statement Ahead of Tim Cook's Senate Appearance on Tax Policy
Apple today released a statement [PDF] ahead of Apple CEO Tim Cook, CFO Peter Oppenheimer, and head of tax operations Phillip A. Bullock's appearances in front of the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigation tomorrow.
In the seventeen page statement, Apple notes that it has created hundreds of thousands of jobs in the United States -- both directly and through suppliers and contractors. It notes that the company paid nearly $6 billion in federal taxes in fiscal 2012 and the company expects to pay $7 billion in 2013.
The company also says Apple "does not use tax gimmicks", pushing back against reporting in The New York Times that examined Apple's international tax strategies.
Apple, a California company, employs tens of thousands of Americans, creates revolutionary products that improve the lives of tens of millions of Americans, and pays billions of dollars annually to the US Treasury in corporate income and payroll taxes. Apple’s shareholders – from individuals and institutions to pension funds and public employee retirement systems – have benefitted from the Company’s success through the appreciation of its stock price and generous dividends. Apple safeguards the capital entrusted to it by its shareholders with prudent management that reflects the Company’s extensive international operations. Apple complies fully with both the laws and spirit of the laws. And Apple pays all its required taxes, both in this country and abroad.
Apple reiterates repeatedly that all of its financial activities are fully legal and in the best interests of its shareholders. The company says it supports comprehensive reform of the U.S. corporate tax system, instead proposing a new system that is "revenue neutral, eliminates all tax expenditures, lowers tax rates and implements a reasonable tax on foreign earnings that allows free movement of capital back to the US." Apple notes that this would likely result in the company paying even more in corporate tax, but supports it nonetheless.
The document includes an extensive history of the company, as well as fairly extensive details about Apple's corporate structure and tax practices, including details about Apple's sales and use tax payments ($1.3 billion in FY2012), state income tax payments ($830 million), and Apple's contributions to employer payroll taxes ($327 million).
It lays out Apple's network of foreign subsidiaries, including several located in Ireland which distribute 'active foreign, post-tax income as dividend payments within Apple's foreign corporate structure'.
Apple wants to make clear to the Subcommittee that the Company does not use its Irish subsidiaries or any other entities to engage in the following tax practices that were the focus of the Subcommittee’s September 20, 2012 hearing, entitled Offshore Profit Shifting and the US Tax Code. Specifically, Apple does not move its intellectual property into offshore tax havens and use it to sell products back into the US to avoid US tax, nor does it use revolving loans from CFCs to fund its domestic operations. Apple does not hold money on a Caribbean island, does not have a bank account in the Cayman Islands, and does not move any taxable revenue from sales to US customers to other jurisdictions in order to avoid US taxation.
The statement continues in some detail, examining Apple's various international holdings and how the company uses them to fund international expansion of retail stores and other investments.
It also notes that analysis of its decision to issue $17 billion in debt to fund share repurchases and dividends, rather than repatriating foreign earnings, "was in its shareholders' best interests".
Apple CEO Tim Cook and CFO Peter Oppenheimer will appear at 9:30AM Eastern time in front of the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigation. The hearing, titled "Offshore Profit Shifting and the U.S. Tax Code - Part 2" will be in the Dirksen Senate Office Building. The subcommittee is attached to the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs.
Other witnesses at the hearing include tax policy experts from the IRS and the Department of the Treasury, as well as professors from Harvard and Villanova.
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