Thursday, May 23, 2013

When $6 BILLION In Taxes Isn't Enough

When is paying $6-BILLION in taxes not considered to be adequate?  When you are the Apple Corporation, and lawmakers want to know why you keep your foreign profits overseas.  This week, Apple executives were on Capitol Hill being grilled by lawmakers--from both parties--as to why they LEGALLY kept profits from foreign sales of Apple products in LEGALLY established foreign subsidiaries.  Nevermind that in 2012 Apple was the single largest payer of Federal corporate taxes in the country--Washington is demanding MORE.

Let's not forget that the $6-BILLION figure is only Federal corporate taxes paid.  It does not include the BILLIONS  in taxes on profits collected by the State of California.  It does not include the hundreds of MILLIONS paid by Apple in state and federal payroll taxes for its American employees.  Or the MILLIONS it paid in Social Security and Medicare taxes.  It does not include the local property taxes Apple pays on their headquarters, satellite offices and hundreds of Apple Stores across the country.

I bought an iPhone 5 last year--and paid state sales tax on it.  Every month the cellular and data bill for that iPhone includes federal, state and local fees.  And I'm not alone, iPhones are the most popular smart phones in the US--and iPads are the most popular tablets--meaning millions of us are paying those taxes and fees as well.

And the profits that Congress is lusting to tax created increased demand for Apple stock--driving up its price on Wall Street.  That, in turn, created Capital Gains taxes.  Apple also paid out handsome dividends to shareholders--which are also taxed at the federal and state levels.  And by increasing the portfolio and retirement account values for millions of Americans, that Apple stock is giving people greater financial security--and making them less likely to require government assistance down the line.

But Congress and the White House and State houses of government don't see all of those other taxes.  All they can see is that additional pile of money kept overseas--and they want some of it. If you believe that $6-BILLION--plus all of the other taxes I mentioned--still aren't enough, then you too can join in on the vilification of  one of America's most successful companies.  But try to keep in mind that even sharks stop eating when they are full.


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