May 22. There’s been a lot of reporting about Apple not paying taxes on a huge amount of money that it keeps overseas, “offshore”. The New York Times today points out that Apple’s “offshore” money is actually sitting in New York City banks. It’s managed by an Apple compay in that far off country of Reno, Nevada. How does Apple do it? On paper the money belongs to two Irish companies owned by Apple. CNN Money says that Apple in Ireland pay taxes on this bundle at 2%, well below the top Irish tax rate of 12.5% and far below the top U.S. corporate tax rate of 35%.
Apple has $102 billion “offshore”. According to the U.S. tax code it doesn’t pay U.S. tax until it brings that money home and why should it? CNN Money says the law allows it to invest that money anywhere it wants, even in the USA.
Now Apple does actually pay U.S. taxes. $6 billion last year. The “Daily Beast” writes about 30 companies that paid no taxes at all in 2011. You might have heard of the names of a few of these “poor” companies: Wells Fargo, Mattel, Boeing, Duke Energy.
In 2010 GE went one better. That year according to Citizens for Tax Justice, “General Electric paid zero dollars in federal taxes and collected $4.7 billion in tax rebates.”
P.S. In an article on May 23 Joe Nocera quotes Senator Levin talking about Apple’s business in Ireland that on paper is making all the money. He says, ” It has no employees. It has no offices. “