US tax code is outdated and awful for America, says Apple CEO Tim Cook.
An interview between Apple CEO Tim Cook and Charlie Rose will air on CBS today, but CBS has already posted a clip from the interview on Friday, in which Cook discusses Apple’s tax policies and saying that they pay more than other companies in a system that’s “backwards”.
The comments from Cook are even stronger than those he made previously, with the sentiment that Apple pays every dollar it owes and doesn’t illegally avoid any US taxes. He also made a similar statement before US Congress over two years ago.
The comments from Cook will be shown on broadcast TV this Sunday on 60 Minutes, and the minute-long clip was shared on the Internet on Friday. In the interview with Rose, Cook says that Apple pays more tax than anyone else in the US.
“We happily pay that,” said Cook.
The main issue appears to be the money that Apple earns in foreign markets. Over $200 billion is overseas, as the repatriation taxes are too high in the view of Cook and other executives. Cook told Charlie Rose that he’s love to bring it home, but the government’s current policies are unfair and outdated.
“It would cost me 40 percent to bring it home, and I don’t think that’s a reasonable thing to do,” Cook said. “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.”
After the testimony to Congress in 2013, many said that Apple was in a scheme to pay little or no taxes in the US. But when questioned about this by Rose, Cook responded:
“That is total political crap. There is no truth behind it. Apple pays every tax dollar we owe.”
Larry Banks is a keen follower of technology and finance. He has worked for a variety of online publications, writing about a diverse range of topics including mobile networks, patents, and Internet video delivery technologies.