Home / Taxes / How Apple Sticks It to High-Tax States
Print Friendly and PDF

How Apple Sticks It to High-Tax States

Written by Gary North on April 30, 2012

Apple serves its customers well by cutting its costs. Taxes are a cost.

Apple serves its shareholders well by increasing profits. Cutting taxes increases profits.

By setting up divisions in Nevada, where there is mo state income tax on corporations, Apple avoids the grasping hand of California, which taxes corporations at 8.8%

I love it!

Across the nation, Apple stiffs states that impose income taxes.

When companies sell ideas or digits, they can operate anywhere. They should go where taxes are low.This is what they are doing.

The politicians grind their teeth. “How dare these firms go where we can’t get at their bank accounts?” It’s so easy when you know how.

Apple knows how.

Yet, with a handful of employees in a small office here in Reno, Apple has done something central to its corporate strategy: it has avoided millions of dollars in taxes in California and 20 other states.

It operates divisions in Ireland, Netherlands, and the British Virgin Islands.

Apple serves as a window on how technology giants have taken advantage of tax codes written for an industrial age and ill suited to today’s digital economy. Some profits at companies like Apple, Google, Amazon, Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft derive not from physical goods but from royalties on intellectual property, like the patents on software that makes devices work. Other times, the products themselves are digital, like downloaded songs. It is much easier for businesses with royalties and digital products to move profits to low-tax countries than it is, say, for grocery stores or automakers. A downloaded application, unlike a car, can be sold from anywhere.

The growing digital economy presents a conundrum for lawmakers overseeing corporate taxation: although technology is now one of the nation’s largest and most valued industries, many tech companies are among the least taxed, according to government and corporate data. Over the last two years, the 71 technology companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index — including Apple, Google, Yahoo and Dell — reported paying worldwide cash taxes at a rate that, on average, was a third less than other S.& P. companies’. (Cash taxes may include payments for multiple years.)

I love it!

Apple, for instance, was among the first tech companies to designate overseas salespeople in high-tax countries in a manner that allowed them to sell on behalf of low-tax subsidiaries on other continents, sidestepping income taxes, according to former executives. Apple was a pioneer of an accounting technique known as the “Double Irish With a Dutch Sandwich,” which reduces taxes by routing profits through Irish subsidiaries and the Netherlands and then to the Caribbean. Today, that tactic is used by hundreds of other corporations — some of which directly imitated Apple’s methods, say accountants at those companies.

Apple escaped $2.4 billion in U.S. taxes in 2011.

The welfare state is going bankrupt. The quicker, the better. Apple is speeding up the process.

I love it!

To read the agonized cries of politicians, click the link.

Continue Reading on www.nytimes.com

Print Friendly and PDF

Posting Policy:
We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse. Read more.

9 thoughts on “How Apple Sticks It to High-Tax States

  1. Not “The welfare state is going bankrupt,” (passive)
    The welfare state is bankrupting itself (active).

  2. Jeanne Ballard says:

    Mitt Romney needs to read this post!

  3. What is so amazing, is that these very same companies support the tax and spend agenda of the left instead of willingly paying their taxes!

  4. ccfonten says:

    This is great! You just gotta love the screams and moans of the wacky lefty loonies!

  5. what politicians, and most people, forget is that when Apple pays taxes, they have to get that money from somewhere. It ALWAYS comes from the pockets of those who buy the products. In other words the tax is not on Apple at all, but through Apple to you and I. So, you don't use Apple products> Fine.. you drive a car, live in a house, eat food, use someone's computer, and have paid taxes on all those items/services either directly (sales, use, regulatory taxes) or indirectly (through the manufacturer, dealer, provider). Kudos to Apple for even wanting to reduce taxes lawfully. Makes them more competitive on the market. Same as Boeing moving propduction facilities to the Carolinas. WHEN will the politicians ever wake up and start not spending so much of what YOU and I make?

  6. Public Citizzen says:

    Apparently it is just as easy to sell a new car over the internet as a digital download.
    I just attended a dinner sponsored by Valley Hi Toyota in Victorville, California.
    The head of internet sales explained how through their website they are selling new cars all over the country, and even in foreign countries. They are selling at a higher rate than larger better known dealerships, primarily due to their philosophy of relationship building so the new customer will become a repeat customer when they need another vehicle.
    Kudos to Apple for leading the way in teaching the political parasites that the old model of taxation on businesses that can't run fast enough to escape their predation no longer works. States such as Texas, Florida, and Nevada will gain long term [just like Valley Hi] by cultivating the long term relationship instead of trying to bleed people and businesses dry at the fastest rate possible.

  7. Bravi, Bravi, Bravissimo to Apple!!! If only more U.S. based businesses would just follow their lead. Long life to the entire Apple family and thank you, Steve Jobs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Apple is also a huge welfare queen – sucking up tax dollars in low tax Texas.

  9. Navy Vet says:

    Poor dumb ass liberals still don't get it. High taxes force company's to move to more tax friendly states. I salute Apple for doing this.