Apple's tax-avoidance efforts not unique in design, but certainly in scope and dollars.
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Report says Apple has shifted $74 billion overseas to avoid the IRS

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An 18-month-long look into Apple by a Senate subcommittee has revealed a network of subsidiaries used to avoid $74 billion in tax payments.  The system Apple has in place is so complex that it stunned experts, according to the New York Times.

These subsidiaries are based in countries with favorable tax laws (favorable to corporations, anyway) that allow Apple to exist in this gray area where neither the United States nor the home country assume any tax liability on Apple’s part.  The U.S. declares residency based on where a company is incorporated.

But in Ireland, for example, they base residency on where a company runs its operations.  This leads to one of Apple’s top offshore locations: Apple Operations International, which is incorporated in Ireland, but has American bank accounts and board meetings in California.  Because of this, they are exempt from having to file taxes here in the United States and Ireland.  A separate subsidiary based in Ireland has paid almost nothing since 2009 on $30 billion in profits.

It’s important to note that, for better or worse, what Apple is doing is not illegal.  Just ask Google and Amazon – two other big-name companies under current scrutiny for their tax policies.

Apple CEO Tim Cook is scheduled to testify before Congress tomorrow in regards to Apple’s tax policies.

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  • Renkman

    Stick it to the man! Just kidding. People and companies like Apple will stop trying to avoid paying taxes when hell freezes over. I’m sure the US wants Apple’s tax income, but if they aren’t doing anything illegal isn’t this a non issue?