Business

Apple CEO: ‘We pay all the taxes we owe’

Daily Caller News Foundation logo
Betsi Fores The Daily Caller News Foundation
Font Size:

Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, defended his company’s corporate tax practices Tuesday morning at a Senate subcommittee hearing.

“We pay all the taxes we owe — every single dollar,” Cool said Tuesday on Capitol Hill.

The hearing of the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations was called by Democratic Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan over what he described as the company’s “creative tax gimmickry.”

A Senate investigation uncovered that the company evaded $9 billion in taxes due three Apple subsidiary companies in Ireland that are required to pay no taxes to any country, despite paying $6 billion in taxes during 2012.

“They’ve created corporations that don’t exist anywhere for tax purposes,” Levin, chairman of the subcommittee, said. “That is right at the epitome of creative tax gimmickry.”

Cook pushed back on Levin’s assessment.

“We not only comply with the laws, but we comply with the spirit of the laws,” he said. “We don’t depend on tax gimmicks.”

Cook argued that the tax code, that Republican Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul described in the hearing as “bizarre and Byzantine,” “has not kept up with the digital age,” making the free flow of capital extremely difficult.

The Senate subcommittee conceded the company had done nothing illegal and repeatedly referred to them as an “American success story.” The company is currently the second largest in the world — formerly the first — after Exxon.

After being repeatedly pressed by Sen. Levin, Cook admitted the company has no intention of repatriating offshore cash.

Cook called for the “dramatic simplification of the corporate tax code,” and to “implement a reasonable tax on foreign earnings,” in his testimony.

“We strongly believe that such comprehensive reform would be fair to all tax payers,” Cook said, admitting that such policies would make Apple pay more taxes in the U.S.

Currently, the U.S. has the highest corporate tax rate in the developed world, at 35 percent. Paul pointed out in the hearing that is double the rate of Canada. The high tax rate makes it difficult to move money within the U.S., pushing many companies to seek off shore subsidiaries, he said.

Cook added that Apple is “deeply committed to our country’s welfare.” Apple employs 600,000 American workers.

“We are proud to be an American company, and we are equally proud of our contributions to the U.S. economy,” Cook said.

Watch a segment of Cook’s testimony:

Follow Betsi on Twitter

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.