Apple’s Day At The Senate
Weâve discussed before how big companies save loads of money on their taxes, no?
These companies simply set up subsidiaries across the globe (one such Apple subsidiary is called âBraeburn Capitalâ, those clever Apple employees) and conduct business from there. Like other companies, Apple also operates an office out of Ireland to skirt some of these tax issues. This kind of practice might be unfortunate, sure, but itâs entirely legal and, depending on whom you ask, good for the company. This didnât stop the US Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigation from calling Apple to Washington DC to explain their tax maneuvers.
The meeting wasnât without a little grandstanding from Kentucky Senator Rand Paul (Ronâs son) who used his opening statements to let the entire committee know just how âoffendedâ he was by being a part of the meeting.
Itâs assumed (by this writer, at least) that Senator Paul is angling for one of those new watches.
âTell me a politician who is up here and doesn’t try to minimize his taxesâŠ Tell me what Apple has done is illegal. I am offended by a governmentâŠ that convenes a hearing to bully one of America’s greatest success storiesâŠ If anyone should be on trial here, it should be Congress. I frankly think the committee should apologize to Apple,â ranted Sen. Paul in his opening statements, according to MacRumors.
And this is my favorite part:
âInstead of Apple executives, we should have brought in a giant mirror. This problem is solely and completely caused by our tax code. This committee should look in the mirror. I find it abominable.”
And itâs trueâŠAmerican tax laws have been criticized before as having too many loopholes which allow corporations to avoid paying what may be their fair share of the tax burden.
Of course, thereâs also the other side of the argument which claims that these tax laws are fine and if a large corporation can save a buck or two in the process, so be it.
Iâm not here to make any political statements, though.
Cook gave a well-practiced statement for the committee, taking care to mention all the jobs Apple creates in the States, including that upcoming line of Made in America Macs.
Some of the senators accused Apple for simply setting up a sham operation in Ireland with which to avoid paying taxes.
Apple has real operations, in real places, with Apple employees selling real products to real customers. We not only comply with the laws but we comply with the spirit of the laws,â said Cook in appleâs defense before accusing the slow and aging tax laws.
âUnfortunately the tax code has not kept up with the digital age. We are handicapped in relation to our foreign competitors who do not have such constraints on the free movement of capital.â
Of course, itâs not a day out for the CEO and CFO without some cheesy jokes.
Senator John McCain used the last of his precious time to take Apple to task over a much more personal issue heâs had with the company.
âWhy the hell do I have to keep updating the apps on my iPhone? Why can’t you fix that?”
Yeah, Câmon Apple. Why the hell canât you fix that?
Oh, by the way, the Senate committee largely found nothing wrong with Appleâs tax procedures. Of course.