Tag Archive: Apple

Mar 14 2016

Decrypting the Encryption Battle

President Barack Obama became the first president to address the annual technology and music festival, South by South West (SXSW), in Austin, Texas. Without mentioning the FBI’s battle with Apple over access to an encrypted i-Phone, his attempt at “healing the rift” between the tech industry and the government fell more than flat and he …

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May 30 2013

Corporate Taxes: Getting a Bite of Apple

At a recent hearing before the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Apple CEO Tim Cooke testified how the company managed to evade paying billions in taxes using tax loopholes particularly and overseas subsidiaries, like Apple’s subsidiary in Ireland.

Apple’s massive cash hoard, and the danger of soaring corporate profits

by Steve Gentile, Up with Steve Kornacki

The major flaw of our recovery has not been the pace, although certainly it could have been much faster. Instead, the major flaw is distribution. The economy is growing, but corporations and the richest Americans are capturing the lion’s share of the proceeds from that growth. You’ve likely heard a lot about the one percent-in the first year of the recovery, they captured 93% of the income gains – but the story of America’s corporations is even more troubling.

We’ve seen systemic inequality in our country growing for decades, even before the latest financial crisis. Between 1979 and 2007, income for the top 1% grew by nearly 300%, while it grew by just 18% for the bottom quintile of earners. [..]

Apple argues that its off-shore profits should only be subject to off-shore taxes. As if those off-shore profits had nothing to do with America. Of course, they do. Apple may sell products across the world, but the company is based in America for a reason. Apple enjoys, indeed exploits, countless legal and economic benefits by operating in America, benefits Apple wouldn’t enjoy anywhere else: basic legal protections, a judiciary that safeguards and enforces the rule of law, an intellectual property regime that affords generous-in fact, overly broad-protections for new ideas and innovations, a world-class system of higher education, a (somewhat) open immigration policy, reliable security, an advanced infrastructure for business development, and countless other benefits  from operating in a functional, developed society with a genuine social contract.

As Elizabeth Warren famously put it, “There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own.” In the same way, there is no company in this country that got rich on its own. Corporations like Apple are hampering the economy and corroding our political system by hoarding hundreds of billions of dollars in cash. They owe the American people back payments.

On her May 25 MSNBC show, Melissa Harris-Perry exams corporate money tactics and tax codes with guests Lawrence J. Korb, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress; Stephen Lerner, organizer of the Wall Street Accountability campaign; Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist David Cay Johnston, author of The Fine Print: How Big Companies Use “Plain English” To Rob You Blind; and Yves Smith, the founder and creator of the blog Naked Capitalism.

May 26 2013

Sunday May 26, 2013: Up with Steve Kornacki Tweets

Today’s show was about immigration reform, Oklahoma disaster relief, Apple tax shelters, Apple, Congress, tax law, and corporate taxes. #Uppers is now.

Thank you for reading.

May 22 2013

Corporate Taxes = 0

The Real IRS Scandal Is That ‘They Let General Electric Not Pay Any Taxes’

In an email to The Huffington Post on Sunday, GE spokesman Seth Martin wrote that the company paid $3.2 billion in cash income taxes worldwide, including in the U.S., in 2012. In addition, he stated, GE paid more than $1 billion in other state, local and federal taxes.

“GE is one of the largest payers of corporate income taxes,” Martin wrote.

Still, GE and other hugely profitable U.S.-based companies like it have come under fire in recent years over their tax practices. Tax breaks given to corporations cost the U.S. government $180 billion per year, according to a recent report from the Government Accountability Office. In addition, companies are likely stashing $1.9 trillion overseas in an aim to avoid paying U.S. taxes on those profits, according to a March analysis by Bloomberg.

GE parks the most profits offshore of any company, Bloomberg found. Many companies including, Apple, Microsoft and Google allegedly employ this strategy of keeping money overseas to avoid paying U.S. taxes on those profits.

The real problem is that GE doesn’t pay its fair share of the US tax burden and, apparently, Apple gets away with a billion dollar tax dodge due to a loop hole in the tax laws. Tim Cooke, Apple’s CEO, appearing before Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations defended funneling billions to off shore tax shelters. What didn’t get mentioned at the hearings were the billions that Apple saved using the “excess stock options” tax break. The loophole allows corporations to deduct compensation that they give to executives in the form of stock options as an expense, the same way they deduct cash compensation. The hitch: stock options don’t hurt the companies bottom line, unlike cash options.

“The only meaningful costs associated with this are that the more stock you issue, the more it dilutes the value of the stock that’s already held by shareholders,” Matthew Gardner the executive director of the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy told The Huffington Post last month.

Apple took home $3.2 billion between 2010 and 2012 (pdf) thanks to this tax break — the most of any company, the report found. But it’s not the only company taking advantage of the loophole. Activists have criticized Facebook over its use of the executive stock option tax break in recent months after the social networking giant used it to wipe out its entire tax liability in 2012.

Though using the tax break has been rather common practice among technology companies, which tend to issue a higher percentage of their compensation in stock options, it’s becoming more common and lawmakers are slowly starting to take notice, Gardner said.

While the hearing focused on Apple’s offshore holdings, companies have stashed $1.9 trillion in offshore accounts to avoid paying US taxes.

Large U.S. companies boosted their offshore earnings by 15 percent last year to a record $1.9 trillion, avoiding hefty tax bills by keeping the profits abroad, according to a new report.

The overseas earnings stockpile has climbed by 70 percent over the past five years, said research firm Audit Analytics. Data in its report covers the Russell 3000 index of the largest U.S. corporations. [..]

Conglomerate General Electric Co , had the most indefinitely reinvested overseas earnings, at about $108 billion, while drugmaker Pfizer Inc was next with $73 billion, according to Audit Analytics.

Yeah, corporations not paying taxes is the problem.