Apple CEO Tim Cook is not happy about people calling him a “tax avoider,” and thinks the current US tax code on foreign income is broken.
It’s especially important to Apple, as Cook is “certain” a foreign country will overtake the US as its largest market.
It’s not just that the number of people in markets like China is larger, but more critically, the number of people growing into the middle-class. For a consumer company, that’s the key to growth, Cook said during an interview with “60 Minutes”.
But with that growth comes international profits, and Apple has been accused of hoarding billions of dollars overseas in order to allegedly dodge higher corporate tax rates.
Cook got uncharacteristically rattled by questions about whether his company should be paying more money in America.
“We pay more taxes in this country than anyone,” Cook said, while acknowledging that that should be the case since Apple is the most profitable company in the US.
Cook said he’d love to bring back some of the cash to the U.S., but it wouldn’t make sense under the current tax code. “It would cost me 40% [taxes] to bring it home. And I don’t think that’s a reasonable thing to do,” he said.
Cook continued, “This is a tax code, Charlie, that was made for the industrial age, not the digital age. It’s backwards. It’s awful for America. It should have been fixed many years ago. It’s past time to get it done.”
When Rose followed up with the Senate’s assertion that Apple’s running a scheme “to pay little or no corporate taxes on $74 billion in revenues held overseas,” Cook simply said it’s “total political crap.”
“There is no truth behind it. Apple pays every tax dollar we owe,” he said.