How to: Learn from Apple’s tax mess

Apple CEO, Tim Cook, was summoned before the US Congress to testify about his company’s tax practices. The American government is particularly interested in the fact that Apple has $105 billion in foreign accounts and only $43 billion in US coffers.

Keeping their money in low-tax havens like Ireland has saved Apple billion in taxes. But what does that mean for you? Well, you could follow suite in this age of globalization. There should be a disclaimer that we’re IT experts, not tax advisers.

However, there are a growing number of companies and law firms that specialize in creating offshore subsidiaries for smaller businesses. While overseas, your money is tax deferred, meaning you don’t pay taxes on it until you retrieve it. Such capital is either held or written off the books to be invested overseas.

Investing if overseas allows companies to buy inventory the sell it wherever they want. The question should then turn to: Is it legal? Maybe. For now, it shall remain firmly in the grey area.

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