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Apple’s Tim Cook says now is the time to reform the tax code

Apple’s Tim Cook says now is the time to reform the tax code
[Photo: courtesy of NBC News]

He’s said it many times before, but he picked today–a day before House GOP leaders are expected to unveil a tax overhaul–to repeat that Apple would like to see its profits taxed differently in the U.S. Cook made his comments in a CNBC interview Wednesday. Tax reform is Apple’s number-one policy issue in D.C. this year.

Cook’s beef is that Apple (the world’s most valuable company) has to pay a 40% corporate tax (his number) on overseas profits it returns to the States–even after it’s paid taxes on the profit to the country in which it was earned. So Apple negotiates favorable tax rates in countries like Ireland, then just keeps its money there–more than 90% of its total war chest, actually.

The GOP tax proposal is likely to include a “worldwide minimum tax” on multinational corporations’ profits, The New York Times reported, to prevent companies like Apple from hiding profits overseas to avoid paying taxes. But this would just serve as a stopgap until a “territorial” taxation approach (in which only profits earned in the U.S. would be taxed) could be phased in.

President Trump has pushed the idea of applying a one-time 10% corporate tax on profits returned to the U.S., but it’s not known if that will be part of the GOP proposal. House GOP members worked with the Trump administration to craft the bill. Trump hopes that Apple, if allowed to bring the money back into the U.S. on favorable terms, would use it to create more factories and jobs stateside.MS