Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is currently under fire for reportedly evading taxes and now it’s come up that the Cupertino-based company is on it’s way to spending $4 million on lobbying politicians. That number is twice the amount they spent in 2012 and that’s over 20 times the $180,000 they spent in 1999. However, that amount is still significantly smaller than the amount other tech companies spend. For instance, Oracle spent about 50 percent more and Microsoft spent double that amount.
It’s no secret that huge multinational companies store much of their profits overseas. Overall, the companies as a whole are holding about $1.5 trillion profits in other countries. This enables them to avoid about 35 percent of the corporate tax. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) only owns about 6.7 percent of that total. The company also issued bonds to purchase a stock buyback for $9.2 billion instead of paying that same amount in U.S. taxes.
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Apple’s CEO Tim Cook testified on Capital Hill:
Apple’s chief executive officer Tim Cook testified on Capital Hill and mentioned that his company had zero intentions of returning their cash pile to the United States, especially with the taxes on foreign earnings. Now the company may want to put their focus on moving the taxes downward. Although the company has yet to create a political action fund, they are bringing in lobby firms like The Glover Park Group, Franklin Square Group, Capitol Tax Partners and Fierce, Isakowitz, & Blalock.
As part of the testimony, Cook requested that the tax rate be dropped from 35 percent (the current level) to about 20 percent. As for foreign earnings, he didn’t give out a number although he did say,””the rate… to incent [a] huge number of companies [to repatriate their cash], would have to be a single-digit number.”
Fortunately, Cook’s company has concerns that go beyond taxes. The tech giant is also using lobbyists to promote their ideas on a wide array of issues including environment, broadband, technology and intellectual property protections. As Cook explained in his testimony, “The U.S. court system is currently structured in such a way that it’s currently difficult to get the protections a technology company needs.” Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) knows a thing or two about the importance of intellectual property. The company has been battling other tech companies like Samsung over patents.