HOW APPLE’S OVERSEAS PROFIT SHELL GAME WORKS…

by on 9 December 2016

Most of us know that Apple, like many global corporations, has a ton of profits that it has parked overseas to avoid paying U.S. taxes. But we might not have been aware that Apple takes mountains of this cash and plows it back into U.S. Treasury bonds — collecting interest from the U.S. government on the money that it has stockpiled far away from the tax collectors, under a 1962 IRS loophole. That interest totals “at least $600 million and possibly much more” over the last five years, according to a Bloomberg investigation…

Bloomberg dug deep into Apple’s regulatory filings to trace this financial shell game. Apple, of course, is hardly the only player, and there is nothing illegal or even that unusual about the investment. The lesson, as Bloomberg puts it, is in the sheer opacity of global operations today: “The purchases reflect how the distinction between what’s foreign and what’s not for multinationals often exists only in the world of accounting.”

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