News, apple, Computing, Internet, Technology, Tim Cook — May 30, 2013 1:33 — 0 Comments
Tim Cook defends Apple’s use of tax loopholes, talks TV
strong>Apple chief executive insists company, which has more than $100m in profits stranded abroad, does not use ‘tax gimmicks’
Apple’s chief executive has defended the company’s use of tax loopholes, saying “we don’t use tax gimmicks”.
Speaking about his appearance before US senators last week to answer questions on Apple’s Irish tax arrangements, Tim Cook urged the US government to “gut” its tax code, which he said was held together by “band-aid and paperclips”.
Apple has more than $100m (£66m) in profits stranded abroad because the company is unwilling to pay the 35% corporation tax that the US government would impose were the cash to be brought home.
Cook proposed scrapping all the loopholes, or ‘corporate tax expenditures’, used by multinationals to lower their contributions to the Internal Revenue Service, and suggested the corporate tax rate be reduced to single digits.
“We came in with a proposal,” Cook said of his senate appearance. “We are not in here asking for tax breaks. We think we should do a comprehensive reform. For multinationals the right approach would be simplicity. Just gut the code. It’s 7500 pages long, none of us could read it and make sense of it.”
Interviewed at a conference organised by the All Things Digital technology news site, Cook said Apple’s annual tax return was “crazy” because it amounted to a pile of documents two feet high.
“If you implement what we are suggesting we may wind up paying a little more,” he said, “but what we would get for that is we would have unlimited ability to pull our capital back offshore and that would be great for the US.”
Asked whether the US tax code was convoluted and difficult to understand partly because of lobbying by companies including Apple for exemptions, Cook replied: “no doubt”.
Two years into his role as successor to Steve Jobs, Cook defended Apple against criticism that the company has not been innovative under his leadership, saying “we have several more game changers in us”.
He suggested Apple is still planning to develop a TV: “There is a very grand vision of it. I have nothing to announce but it’s an area of incredible interest to us.”
Cook appeared more keen to talk about the wearable technology trend – Google is already marketing its video recording, phone call making glasses, while Apple is reported to be developing a computer that can be worn on the wrist.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010