Apple "among largest tax avoiders in US"
The BBC News website reported on Tuesday May 21st that Apple has been accused of being "among America's largest tax avoiders" by a Senate committee.
The committee said Apple had used "a complex web of offshore entities" to avoid paying billions of dollars in US income taxes, although there was no indication it had done anything illegal.
Apple has a cash stockpile of $145bn (£95bn), but the committee said $102bn of this was held offshore.
The company says it is one of the largest taxpayers in the US, having paid $6bn in federal corporate income tax in the 2012 fiscal year.
In its report into Apple, committee chairman Carl Levin said: "Apple wasn't satisfied with shifting its profits to a low-tax offshore tax haven.
"Apple sought the Holy Grail of tax avoidance. It has created offshore entities holding tens of billions of dollars, while claiming to be tax resident nowhere."
But committee member John McCain said: "Apple claims to be the largest US corporate taxpayer, but by sheer size and scale, it is also among America's largest tax avoiders."
Apple said in its statement: "Apple does not move its intellectual property into offshore tax havens and use it to sell products back into the US in order to avoid US tax.
"It does not use revolving loans from foreign subsidiaries to fund its domestic operations; it does not hold money on a Caribbean island; and it does not have a bank account in the Cayman Islands."
It added that it had "substantial" foreign cash because it sells the majority of its products outside the US, and these foreign earnings were taxed in the jurisdictions where they were earned.
Apple drew criticism three weeks ago when it sold $17bn in bonds to raise cash to fund payouts to shareholders, rather than repatriating some of its cash reserves, which would be taxed in the US.
The move saved the company an estimated $9.2bn in taxes. In its prepared testimony, Apple said that the move was in its shareholders' best interests.
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