The week was almost out with very little Apple legal news. It would’ve been odd as if something was missing here in Science & Tech. As reported by Politico, Apple is in the Senate’s sites in regards to U.S-based companies’ offshore tax activity. As the figurehead of Apple, CEO Tim Cook is expected to stand before the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigation about it. Apparently the Committee has been targeting the tax tactics of companies such as Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard.
If they’re doing it, surely Apple—a company in the same business that deals in the same markets as Microsoft and HP—must be doing it too, right? That seems to be the Senate’s approach to this.
Recently, Apple announced a bond plan that would end up sparing it from paying $9.2 billion in taxes and has a large chunk of its $145 billion—over $100 billion—held outside the United States by using bonds. This allows for Apple to avoid the 35% corporate tax that circles their funds like a vulture in the desert. With that much money overseas and that much money that will avoid the tax bullet, you can bet the Senate would want to have a little chat with Apple about it.
As expected, Apple stated that it’s tax practices are on the level and that they are working with the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigation on the issue. “We’ve been working with the Subcommittee to answer their questions about Apple, and we welcome any further questions they might have. Apple is one of the largest taxpayers in the United States, having paid $6 billion in federal corporate income tax in fiscal 2012.” Apple spokesman Steve Dowling said of the situation and added, “We also help create hundreds of thousands of jobs in the U.S by keeping our R&D (research and development) in California and creating category-defining products like the iPhone, the iPad, and the App Store, which has generated billions of dollars in sales for software developers.”
While the Senate isn’t taking aim at what has Apple done for the U.S lately, it looks as though Apple will be brought in with the usual suspects anyways to justify the reasons for their tax practices and to explain how it doesn’t harm the United States’ interests—the Subcommittee’s main concern here. The full witness list should be out Friday.