We are updating this blog during the live congressional testimony of Apple CEO Tim Cook. More details will be added soon.
Apple’s CEO Tim Cook came out firing during his Congressional grilling, declaring, “we pay all of the taxes we owe, every single dollar.” A blistering Senate investigation accused Apple of shady tax dodging, helping it avoid $13.8 billion in taxes.
In his opening testimony, Cook affirmed Apple’s position that “we don’t rely on tax gimmicks” to avoid paying any taxes (for a review of how Apple stashes cash oversees, see our previous post).
Cook had supporters on the panel, especially Senators Claire McCaskill and Rand Paul, a known libertarian who favors dramatically lowering the corporate tax rate.
Paul wigged out on his fellow senators, accusing them of vilifying a great American company for fulfilling their responsibility to maximize shareholder value.
Instead of doing the right thing we drag businessmen and women in here to berate them for trying to maximize their profits for shareholders.— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) May 21, 2013
It's absurd for Congress to vilify businesses like Apple for wanting to minimize their tax code just like every other American rightly does.— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) May 21, 2013
McCaskill admonished Paul for his accusations against his Senate colleagues, but made sure to note that “I. Love. Apple…I harassed my husband until he converted to a MacBook.”
Cook, for his part, lobbied for a simpler U.S. tax code, which he said should be “revenue neutral, eliminate all corporate tax expenditures, a reasonable tax rate on moving foreign cash back to the U.S. We make this recommendation with eyes open, knowing it would probably raise our own tax payouts.”
Cook admitted his tax recommendation, “fully recognizing that this would result in an increase in Apple’s U.S. taxes.”