Are Apple Executives being Unpatriotic when they Avoid $9.2 Billion in Taxes?

Tuesday, May 07, 2013
Tim Cook, CEO of Apple

Apple Inc. avoided more than $9 billion in taxes while conducting a stock buyback—enough revenue to help offset much of the sequestration budget cuts, according to critics.


Apple’s tax savings occurred when it borrowed money to finance a $55 billion stock buyback instead of spending some of the $100 billion it has off-shored in foreign accounts, which would have had to be repatriated and opened the way for the Internal Revenue Service to send Apple a $9.2 billion tax bill.


Instead, Apple is expected to pay about $308 million a year in interest on the $17 billion it borrowed for its stock plan.


Isaiah Poole wrote at Campaign for America’s Future that Apple’s tax dodge robbed the U.S. government of enough tax revenue to restore much of the funding that was cut by the sequester.


The money could have covered the furloughs of air traffic controllers, prevented 70,000 children from being dropped from Head Start, restored National Institutes of Health funding for research on cancer treatments and other diseases, and much more, according to Poole.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Apple Avoids $9.2 Billion in Taxes With Debt Deal (by Peter Burrows, Bloomberg)

The Bite of Apple: Firm Dodges Enough Taxes To Cover Much of Sequester (by Isaiah Poole, Campaign for America’s Future)

Apple Shows Why It’s the World’s Most Successful Company, Pays Overseas Tax Rate of 2% (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

Apple’s $2 Billion a Year Tax Avoidance Strategy (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

Apple the Jobs Creator…Outside the U.S. (by Matt Bewig and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)


John 5 years ago
This is purely speculative. Even if all of Apple's money was in the US this strategy would still be a good idea. Apple is paying about 2.5% dividend on its stock. It is borrowing money at about 2.5% to buy back its own stock. Instead of paying 2.5% dividend it will pay 2.5% interest. Interest is tax deductible, dividends are not. The fact that Apple has a lot money overseas is a distraction, not a key element of the story.

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