Apple CEO talks taxes ahead of hearing: 'We pay every dollar that we owe'

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  • Reply 61 of 132
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 20,368member
    mstone wrote: »
    So if I understand what you are saying, is that Apple picks a figure that they want to end up with at the end of the year as post-tax profit and then works backwards to arrive at a price for their product that also includes the income tax they would owe?

    That is exactly right. The market demands an after-tax expected return based on its assessment of a company's business risks. That expected return, in turn, is the company's (after-tax) cost of capital. The value of a company is nothing more, nothing less than its expected future (after-tax) cash flows discounted at its (after-tax) cost of capital.

    This is all Finance 101.

    If you think that's too difficult to understand, I don't know what else to tell you except to perhaps take a couple of finance classes! (I am not being snarky).
  • Reply 62 of 132
    mj1970mj1970 Posts: 9,002member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by paxman View Post


    Just because it is not illegal it doesn't make it just. I have no idea why people think it is OK for corporations and wealthy folks not to pay the taxes they owe. The thinking behind taxation is not to screw the rich, don't people understand that? 



     


    First, I have no idea what "just" means here. In my view what is just and fair is keeping what you earn. Second, they are paying what they owe, they just may not be paying what you want them to or think they should pay. They are different things. Third, I disagree that the goal is not to screw the rich. I think for many that's exactly what it is about. Finally, I think everyone should be paying substantially less in taxes. Everyone.

  • Reply 63 of 132
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post




    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mstone View Post



    So if I understand what you are saying, is that Apple picks a figure that they want to end up with at the end of the year as post-tax profit and then works backwards to arrive at a price for their product that also includes the income tax they would owe?




    That is exactly right. The market demands an after-tax expected return based on its assessment of a company's business risks. That expected return, in turn, is the company's (after-tax) cost of capital. The value of a company is nothing more, nothing less than its expected future (after-tax) cash flows discounted at its (after-tax) cost of capital.



    This is all Finance 101.



    If you think that's too difficult to understand, I don't know what else to tell you except to perhaps take a couple of finance classes! (I am not being snarky).


    Well like I said I'm not an accountant. I just don't think any of the replies adequately explain how the consumer pays the corporation's income taxes.


     


    However little or much you raise the price of your product it just goes into the asset column. You end up with more after tax profit but you pay more taxes too. It all works so long as the price is still reasonable for the consumer. At a certain point they will buy a competitor's product who will sell one for a lot less because they are willing to take less profit. In the end it seems more reasonable to build your product and set your margin and pay the tax on the profit you earned like you are supposed to. Saying that the consumer pays the corporations taxes is a sensational headline but in reality the consumer is buying a product that has x amount of profit built into the price.

  • Reply 64 of 132
    froodfrood Posts: 771member


    Corporations are required to maximize shareholder value.  You could argue that it would be illegal for them NOT to offshore, if that is the best legal way to maximize profits.  Apple is no more to blame for offshoring than any of the other companies doing it.


     


    If I am investing in two identical companies and one of them makes 30% more profits than the other because they *legally* pay less taxes than their identical competitor- that's the company I'm putting my money in.  Its better than putting it in the 'noble', 'responsible' company that is soon going to be out of business.


     


    It is a little comical to see these Senators putting on a dog and pony show claiming to be 'livid' at companies offshoring.


     


    'Shore' up the tax LAWS and then go after the companies that are breaking those laws illegally.  Keeping it legal and stomping your feet at corporations telling them, 'we really wish you'd pay more taxes' is just dumb, but does give you a platform to pretend to be high and mighty and pander for votes because you are 'doing something about it.'  The biggest thing holding that back are the Senators themselves.  Granted they are getting a ton of money from the lobbyists of these corporations to make sure the offshoring loopholes never get closed.  Maybe that's what they should have a hearing on?  They could grill themselves on why they accept so much money to ensure laws that damage the country as a whole remain in effect for the few that benefit from them.

  • Reply 65 of 132
    mj1970mj1970 Posts: 9,002member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Frood View Post


    'Shore' up the tax LAWS and then go after the companies that are breaking those laws illegally.  Keeping it legal and stomping your feet at corporations telling them, 'we really wish you'd pay more taxes' is just dumb, but does give you a platform to pretend to be high and mighty and pander for votes because you are 'doing something about it.'



     


    Or...just lower tax rates, streamline or eliminate deductions.


     


    Or...even better...eliminate the (corporate and personal) income tax altogether and go with a national sales tax.


     


    Or...best...reduce the fucking spending by getting government (federal, state and local) out of doing the 90% of the crap it really has no business doing....and eliminate the (corporate and personal) income tax altogether and go with a national sales tax.

  • Reply 66 of 132
    Unless all these posters claiming Apple is abominable do not use any of the loopholes pertinent to individual tax returns we can disregard them as being hypocritical. (And one might say a bit dumb as well). Until such time as we have a truly fair tax system companies and individuals will continue to take legal advantage of the system.

    People, you are angry at the wrong parties. You need look no further than congress and the idiots who keep voting the same imbeciles back in time after time. For the life of me I can't figure out why people send the same politicians back again and again expecting different results. Many conveniently forget that it is not only corporations that buy elections but also big unions. Neither has our best interests at heart.
  • Reply 67 of 132
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post




    eliminate the (corporate and personal) income tax altogether and go with a national sales tax.



    Wealthy people don't like that because they can't avoid paying taxes.

  • Reply 68 of 132
    mj1970mj1970 Posts: 9,002member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    Wealthy people don't like that because they can't avoid paying taxes.



     


    Possibly. But, they'd probably pay about the same amount, possibly a bit less.


     


    The real enemies of such a plan are politicians in general for whom the real level of taxation would now be exposed and become a liability, and Democrats/leftists/liberals in particular who would have a harder time trying to pit one class against another, punishing success, hard work and productivity, and trying to force the rich to pay for all of their spendy ways.


     


    If we must tax, a consumption tax is perhaps the best, most economically efficient, least "distortive" and fairest way to go. It also has the benefit of exposing the real level of taxation for all to see...perhaps creating somewhat of a governor on higher taxes.

  • Reply 69 of 132
    rcfarcfa Posts: 1,124member

    Quote:


    Or...best...reduce the fucking spending by getting government (federal, state and local) out of doing the 90% of the crap it really has no business doing....and eliminate the (corporate and personal) income tax altogether and go with a national sales tax.



     


    If you mean with "the 90% of the crap it really has no business doing" builting a world-wide American military empire, you're right.


     


    If you think the government should stop making sure that there's a reasonably level playing field, enforce laws, protect the environment, prevent slavery by other names, etc. then you're wrong.


     


    The problem is, most people agree that the government should stop doing 90% of things, they just don't agree which 90%; and the people most vocal usually want military expenses to go up not down.


     


    Also, a sales tax would be good, if the basic necessities were tax free (unprocessed food, basic clothing), otherwise it's too regressive and would make the lowest income classes pay a disproportionally high percentage of taxes. Don't be surprised if the Coke will then cost $0.10, with $0.80 in sales taxes added on. The thing is, that the cumulative taxes we pay are today hidden in the price (gas taxes, road tolls, corporate income taxes, employee's payroll taxes, local sales taxes, state sales taxes, taxes hidden in the cost of ingredients, etc.) plus these prices with all the hidden taxes you pay with after tax dollars.


     


    All these hidden taxes would fall away, making things potentially VERY cheap. But the cost of government wouldn't go down all that much (except for savings in the bureaucracy), so sales taxes would have to be what would now seem astronomically high. But on the plus side: no more need for accounting, record keeping, dealing with complicated tax forms, government information collection on private people in the guise of tax forms, etc.


     


    You win some, you lose some.

  • Reply 70 of 132
    mj1970mj1970 Posts: 9,002member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by rcfa View Post


    If you mean with "the 90% of the crap it really has no business doing" builting a world-wide American military empire, you're right.



     


    That's part of it, but not all of it. The welfare start is another huge part. Bigger than the empire part. The amount of spending that goes to the basics government ought to be doing is probably only about 10-15% of what the total spending is now. The level of taxation to support that would be acceptable.


     


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by rcfa View Post


    If you think the government should stop making sure that there's a reasonably level playing field, enforce laws, protect the environment, prevent slavery by other names, etc. then you're wrong.



     


    If you think the government has ever been about "leveling the playing field" you're wrong. It depends on the laws and what "protect the environment" means exactly and...the government is the primary creator of slavery. Shit, this country...the land of the free...had it built right into its constitution from the start! But, yes, the proper and only role for the government is to protect the basic rights of life, liberty and property of its citizens. Unfortunately, most do a shitty job of that...in part because they basically need to violate those right to do the rest of the shit so many people ask for them to do.


     


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by rcfa View Post


    The problem is, most people agree that the government should stop doing 90% of things, they just don't agree which 90%; and the people most vocal usually want military expenses to go up not down.



     


    I know.


     


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by rcfa View Post


    Also, a sales tax would be good, if the basic necessities were tax free (unprocessed food, basic clothing), otherwise it's too regressive and would make the lowest income classes pay a disproportionally high percentage of taxes.



     


    Sales taxes are not regressive. That's only something your leftist teachers told you. Look up the definition of progressive, flat and regressive. To call a flat sales tax regressive is an abuse of the language and a torturing of the definitions for political purposes.


     


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by rcfa View Post


    The thing is, that the cumulative taxes we pay are today hidden in the price (gas taxes, road tolls, corporate income taxes, employee's payroll taxes, local sales taxes, state sales taxes, taxes hidden in the cost of ingredients, etc.) plus these prices with all the hidden taxes you pay with after tax dollars.



     


    I know.


     


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by rcfa View Post


    But the cost of government wouldn't go down all that much (except for savings in the bureaucracy), so sales taxes would have to be what would now seem astronomically high.



     


    I know that government won't get smaller simply by changing the taxing model.

  • Reply 71 of 132
    bugsnwbugsnw Posts: 717member


    I don't like efforts to demonize corporations or huge classes of people (Obama likes referring to bankers as fat cats). It's not rich vs. poor.


     


    I don't think the word "Loophole" applies when discussing Apple's legal tax strategies.


     


    Example: I sold artwork at one time. If I sold artwork on a reservation, I did not have to collect sales tax. Effectively lower prices often meant more money for me. So...I sold a lot more artwork on reservations (there's that incentive thing again).


     


    It's not a loophole. It's the way the law was written. A loophole is where someone is abusing the law by taking advantage of ambiguity or complexity.


     


    The rules for offshore taxation are pretty clear and straightforward. That Irish ice-cream sandwich thing that the Times wrote about a while back, in my mind, more closely resembles a loophole. An unintentional result of complexity or ambiguity.


     


    Often, the IRS will rule that those gray area loopholes violate the spirit of the law and those strategies end up being liabilities.


     


    Good luck, Tim. In the current environment, you face being demonized publicly for political gain (and then asked later for contributions).

  • Reply 72 of 132
    christophbchristophb Posts: 1,482member
    Tim - "Tax everyone the same rate regardless if the circumstances"

    [Insert random Senator here] - "Ridiculous! How would we engineer our reelections? "
  • Reply 73 of 132
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,362member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by charlituna View Post





    The game isn't about the most but what is legally required of them



    And think about it, you don't not take deductions on your income tax do you, you don't not file because you would be getting a refund. So you're suggesting Apple pay every cent they can but you don't do that.


     


    Uh, where the hell did I suggest that? I'm saying the opposite. You must have been replying to someone else. 

  • Reply 74 of 132
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,716member
    mj1970 wrote: »
    First, I have no idea what "just" means here. In my view what is just and fair is keeping what you earn. Second, they are paying what they owe, they just may not be paying what you want them to or think they should pay. They are different things. Third, I disagree that the goal is not to screw the rich. I think for many that's exactly what it is about. Finally, I think everyone should be paying substantially less in taxes. Everyone.
    Just in this case meant 'right'. At first I wondered why you couldn't understand but when I read on I got it. FYI there is a school of thought out there that is focused on the community, the common good. Taking the bad with the good, as it were. For better or worse, kind of thing. There is a way of thinking where the good of the people as a group come first, where everyone contributes according to ability. It is the opposite of 'us versus them', or in your case, you and yourself against the rest. Some people think it is a good thing. Every sports team relies on it. I am not sure you'd ever understand but it's about looking out for one another. Success is often the result of hard work but it is also a privilege that comes with responsibility. For the most part I think Apple tries to honor that responsibility.
  • Reply 75 of 132
    mj1970mj1970 Posts: 9,002member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by paxman View Post



    Just in this case meant 'right'.


     


    You've done nothing whatsoever to clarify.


     


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by paxman View Post



    FYI there is a school of thought out there that is focused on the community, the common good.


     


    I know.


     


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by paxman View Post



    There is a way of thinking where the good of the people as a group come first, where everyone contributes according to ability.


     


    I know. It's called socialism and communism and Marxism.


     


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by paxman View Post



    It is the opposite of 'us versus them', or in your case, you and yourself against the rest.


     


    If you don't understand, just admit it. I've not advocated us vs. them or me vs. the rest. That's just an ignorant assertion on your part.


     


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by paxman View Post



    Some people think it is a good thing.


     


    I know.


     


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by paxman View Post



    Every sports team relies on it.


     


    Are you using this analogy because you don't understand the fundamental differences between the state and a sports team?


     


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by paxman View Post



    I am not sure you'd ever understand but it's about looking out for one another.


     


    I understand looking out for others and even helping out those who are in need. I simply disagree with the means that you obviously support.


     


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by paxman View Post



    Success is often the result of hard work but it is also a privilege that comes with responsibility. For the most part I think Apple tries to honor that responsibility.


     


    And what responsibility is that exactly?

  • Reply 76 of 132
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AZREOSpecialist View Post



    I don't believe Apple is under any kind of investigation, therefore neither Apple nor Cook have an obligation to testify in this hearing. I think Cook is rather foolish to sit in a congressional hearing, being asked questions, and looking like Apple is on trial when it isn't. Cook should have taken a pass and instead, invited a few Senators to discuss tax policy with him at his headquarters in Cupertino without any cameras present. That is how you do things. Now Cook is going to open his big fat mouth, look like a criminal in front of questioning senators, and Apple's stock will fall again.



    Thanks Tim!


     


    I tend to agree with you. Apple is not under investigation and this gives a number of Senators the opportunity to berate, insult and corner Tim Cook. Why would he do this? Just because he has a friendly relationship with the president?

  • Reply 77 of 132
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post



    And what responsibility is that exactly?


    If you consider the USA as a success then it could be supported that the USA should share its success with other nations by offering food, financial aid, protection, education, health science and governmental guidance, which they do. Sometimes they get a little over zealous in these pursuits but I believe their intentions are well meaning. This is the same ideology that produces free health care and antimissile protection which you earlier scoffed at. Conservative Republicans, Libertarians and the like, generally behave very selfishly in my opinion. What surprises me is why Christians align themselves with conservatives strictly because of the abortion issue when on virtually every other philosophical core principle, they are complete polar opposites.

  • Reply 78 of 132
    mj1970mj1970 Posts: 9,002member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    If you consider the USA as a success then it could be supported that the USA should share it's success with other nations by offering food, financial aid, protection, education, health science and governmental guidance, which they do.



     


    I have no problem (and strongly believe people should) be generous out of their personal wealth and help people in need. I disagree that this needs to be done through the government at all.


     


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    This is the same ideology that produces free health care and antimissile protection which you earlier scoffed at.



     


    I know.


     


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    Conservative Republicans, Libertarians and the like, generally behave very selfishly in my opinion.



     


    Thanks for sharing your opinion, however mis-informed it may be...at least regarding libertarians. The fallacy is thinking that advocating for liberty and against state provision of things implies taking a position against those things. The fallacy is thinking that because one opposed a group of people taking your property by force to be spent on things you may or may not agree with means you simply wish to keep all your money for yourself.


     


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    What surprises me is why Christians align themselves with conservatives strictly because of the abortion issue when on virtually every other philosophical core principle, they are complete polar opposites.



     


    That's probably a subject for a whole other thread.

  • Reply 79 of 132
    What Tim Cook said may be factually true however if Apple ever lobbied for tho loop holes they are using now or contributed to the campaigns of the politicians who wrote them into law, then it can be said that they cheated those of us who do not have access to the same power when we pay our taxes.
  • Reply 80 of 132
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 20,368member
    mstone wrote: »
    Well like I said I'm not an accountant. I just don't think any of the replies adequately explain how the consumer pays the corporation's income taxes.

    However little or much you raise the price of your product it just goes into the asset column. You end up with more after tax profit but you pay more taxes too. It all works so long as the price is still reasonable for the consumer. At a certain point they will buy a competitor's product who will sell one for a lot less because they are willing to take less profit. In the end it seems more reasonable to build your product and set your margin and pay the tax on the profit you earned like you are supposed to. Saying that the consumer pays the corporations taxes is a sensational headline but in reality the consumer is buying a product that has x amount of profit built into the price.

    Ok... whatever. Works for you. Or doesn't.
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