U.S. companies are stockpiling really
huge amounts of cash in offshore accounts.
But, it turns out, the two most vocal proponents concerning the tax rules that incentivise companies to avoid moving cash into the U.S., Cisco and Apple, aren’t even the ones with the biggest stashes.
Microsoft’s pile of foreign cash is way bigger.
A lot of the money sitting overseas was earned overseas, but some of it is put there through accounting methods to avoid U.S. taxes, a situation that Congress has recently been investigating. If these companies want to spend that money in the U.S. to make an acquisition or hire a bunch of new employees, Uncle Sam wants to take a 35% cut.
Cisco’s CEO John Chambers and Apple’s CEO Tim Cook have been trying to get Congress to change the rules, asking for a lower tax rate or even no taxes at all.
Chambers even went so far as to threaten not to make any more U.S. acquisitions or hire any more U.S. employees unless the rule is changed. He didn’t make good on that. Last month, Cisco bought Maryland-based Sourcefire for $US2.7 billion.
But Cisco and Apple clearly aren’t the only ones with a lot at stake. Bloomberg on Tuesday published a list of the 25 companies with the biggest overseas tax hoards.
All of the top 10 are tech companies:
1. Microsoft, $US76.4 billion
2. IBM, $US44.4 billion
3. Cisco Systems, $US41.3 billion
4. Apple, $US40.4 billion
5. Hewlett-Packard, $US33.4 billion
6. Google, $US33.3 billion
7. Oracle, $US26.2 billion
8. Dell, $US19.0 billion
9. Intel, $US17.5 billion
10. Qualcomm, $US16.4 billion
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