Target: Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, Inc.
Goal: Abandon tax sheltering practices used at Apple, Inc.
Apple, Inc. has used skillful scheming to significantly reduce the amount of corporate taxes they are required to pay. Apple, a multinational technology company valued at over $500 billion, has been a pioneer in corporate tax avoidance, both in federal and local efforts.
Apple pays only a 2.3 percent effective tax rate on their offshore-held cash, which itself is valued at over $181 billion. Through a series of well-documented and ethically reprehensible offshore manipulations, they have successfully managed to shield themselves from paying the 35 percent federal tax rate. If that $181 billion weren’t shielded in offshore accounts, the tech giants would owe $59.2 billion in U.S. taxes.
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has spoken publicly about Apple’s tax evasion schemes. He said that Apple should be forced to pay a 50 percent tax rate, noting that “[Steve] Jobs started Apple Computers for money, that was his big thing and that was extremely important and critical and good … [But] we didn’t think we’d be figuring out how to go off to the Bahamas and have special accounts like people do to try to hide their money.”
On the local level, notably in Cupertino, California, where Apple is headquartered, the company’s lack of taxpaying is contributing to infrastructure problems. The city is aging and overburdened. The citizens of Cupertino are trying to stop additional developments that are only complicating the ebb and flow of the city, bringing excess congestion to roads, parking, and transit. Cupertino Mayor Barry Chang notes that stopping Cupertino’s development would be catastrophic to the city’s economy and the real answer to the city’s woes would be tax large companies like Apple.
The problem with doing that is that Apple has rendered the city government impotent in all things Apple. Chang proposed the tech juggernaut, which is currently building a massive new campus that its own employees call “the Death Star,” donate $100 million to Cupertino revitalization efforts. All Chang needed was a single vote from one of the three other eligible city councilmen to move the proposal along. None of them voted “yes.”
Chang noted the other city councilmen “didn’t want to offend [Apple]” by voting in favor of the proposal. “Apple talks to them, and they won’t vote against Apple,” he said. “This is a fact.”
Sign the petition to demand Apple stop sheltering offshore assets and pay a higher tax rate.
Dear Mr. Cook,
One of the fundamental factors that contribute to the betterment of society is the collection of taxes. People and companies (which are now considered people) are held to realistic tax rates designed to assist society’s functioning. By storing hundreds of billions of dollars offshore, Apple, Inc. is contributing to a large-scale, socially-detrimental problem with stark, severe ramifications on the United States.
Apple’s methods of manipulating their corporate tax rate are a contributor to a nationwide problem with monetary allocation. If Apple were to pay the federal tax rate of 35 percent, which for these purposes is based on the $53.4 billion dollar profit the company made in fiscal year 2015, that $18.69 billion figure would greatly contribute to fixing the United States’ ever-present infrastructure problems, stabilizing Social Security, improving healthcare subsidies, and improving education, just to name a few.
Apple is the most valuable company in the world and has the money to give more back to the world that gives it life, and it is with this in mind that we urge you to abandon these ethically bankrupt methods of tax evasion and pay your fair share in federal taxes.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Mike Deerkoski