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Apple accused of seeking ‘the Holy Grail of tax avoidance’

May 21st, 2013 at 8:45 AM
Apple Tax Dodging Accusations

It’s safe to say that Apple CEO Tim Cook won’t be having much fun on Tuesday when he testifies before the Senate about his company’s alleged tax dodging practices. The Hill reports that a new report from the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations has found that Apple has allegedly “funneled money through three offshore companies to dodge billions in taxes,” which some senators say highlights major holes in U.S. tax law.

Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich.), for one, said that Apple “sought the Holy Grail of tax avoidance” as it “created offshore entities holding tens of billions of dollars, while claiming that it was a tax resident nowhere.” Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), meanwhile, said that “a company that found remarkable success by harnessing American ingenuity and the opportunities afforded by the U.S. economy should not be shifting its profits overseas to avoid the payment of U.S. tax.”

Google and Amazon have also come under fire for employing similar tax avoidance strategies in the United Kingdom that have helped them pay a relative pittance in taxes despite racking up billions of dollars in annual sales. In response to these allegations, the companies have offered up a similar defense to the one that Apple is using: Namely, that their practices are perfectly legal under current tax law.

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