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Apple, Cisco, Pfizer, others lobby for special tax break

updated 10:45 am EST, Thu February 17, 2011

Demands come despite federal budgetary crisis

A variety of technology corporations are among those pressuring the US government to give them a preferential tax break, sources tell Fortune. Apple, Cisco, Pfizer and Duke Energy are specifically named as lobbying politicians for a tax "holiday" in regards to repatriated cash. Whereas the companies would normally be obligated to pay 35 percent, their goal is allegedly to pay just 5 percent.

Apple and Cisco are said to have billions of dollars overseas, giving them special incentive to avoid taxes. Cisco CEO John Chambers is noted to be a particularly outspoken advocate for lower repatriation costs, working on the assumption that they could foster more investment in the US and help deliver dividend payments to investors. The US government is at the same in the middle of a budgetary crisis, and so dropping a significant source of tax revenue could be seen as harmful to the country.

by MacNN Staff



  1. chippie

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The Country Can Not Afford It

    And nor can Obama or Congress. The government response should be:" Of course after you repatriate all your manufacturing and component sourcing to the USA!"

  1. Flying Meat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Or, the answer should be

    "Oh helz no! You guys make boatloads of cash. Go make boatloads more and shut-the-heck-up!"

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    More investment

    Yeah, that's what it will do. Foster that 'more investment'. I'm sure that will happen. Just like how all those companies started hiring left and right after getting special tax breaks to 'spur' the economy. And how renewing the estate and bush tax cuts have just spurred job growth and investment.

    All it sounds like is that these companies moved all this cash off-shore as it was better for them to do that, and now they see benefits moving into the US (for themselves, mind you, they're not worrying about the US economy at all), they want to move it back.

    And I'm sure this has nothing to do with them wanting to then use the money to boost stock options or bonuses. Nah. I'm sure they really plan on using the money to spur American investment (that'll bring republicans on board) and increase dividends (there's your large money managers and their lobbies).

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    But the country can afford to get nothing?

    The point is with the 35% tax on bringing money into the country - companies simply don't bring that money into the country, and it gets re-invested in jobs, plants, r&d overseas.

    It's all not so simple. The country really has to cut spending - that includes the so called untouchables of social spending and military spending. You can't bridge the gap without touching the big dogs.

    Maybe we should consider that the cold war has ended? Just a thought - don't start screaming at me.

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    @testudo money is fungeable

    This idiocy doesn't take place just in the U.S. - but also in other countries.

    I guess I won't name them, but my experience was trying to move money to this other country - and they couldn't figure out how to take it.

    They actually declined the business. - Utterly stupid of them, it represented almost pure profit.

    But it came down to the heavy tax on moving money in country - now it never occurred to these particular dweebs they could just pay the tax - that's better than completely losing out on the opportunity - so what can I say, in some cases, its just irrational behavior on the part of individuals....but I digress.

    The point being, is you make this money overseas, do you want it moved here? Forget about 'investment' you want it here or over there? If it pays bonus's - to our people who are subject to our income tax - or bonuses somewhere else, to people in other countries, paying a foreign countries income tax.

    If it goes to buy someone a Yacht, a Yacht docked in one of our ports, or a Yacht docked in France.

    If they burn all the money in one orgy of self destruction - do we sell the lighter fluid, or does a merchant in Germany sell the lighter fluid.

  1. chippie

    Joined: Dec 1969


    @Jonathan-Tanya ( The New Cold War Is Against

    Corporations Avoiding Local Taxation To Transfer Cash To The Already Wealthy). The U.S. could afford all of it's legacy programs if it collected all the taxes that it is entitled too. These companies would not have such high percentages of their cash outside the U.S. if they manufactured and sourced their components in the USA. Further these companies choose where they receive payments. They could choose to have all payments made to U.S. bank accounts where they are incorporated and where head offices are located. So much cash is outside the country of incorporation because these companies are basically exploiting cheap labor abroad. And actively hiding cash.

    We can not scream at you in this forum!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment buried. Show
  1. MyRightEye

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The country can not afford NOT to cut taxes

    Lots of ignorant, very ignorant lefties here. Well go get a Masters in economics before trying to tell people that raising taxes raises revenue. It DECREASES revenue by reducing incentive. Lowering taxes will INCREASE incentive, creating MORE revenue.

    Ron Paul has been call a kook, fringe, a nutjob, and all kinds of names, but if you look at what he's been saying for 10 years about what would happen to our economy, he has been 100% correct. ONE HUNDRED PERCENT correct. About time we start listening to nutty kooks!

  1. nat

    Joined: Dec 1969



    are setting on boatloads of cash. lots of companies. and they ain't hiring. yeah, they're here to help - investors.

  1. chippie

    Joined: Dec 1969


    @MyRightEye No One Has Mentioned

    raising or lower taxes but you. Your Name Says It All. Trickle Down Has Never Worked. But providing manufacturing jobs and corresponding infrastructure helps local economies from the bottom up. Shift workers spend most of their money. The super rich do not and in many cases can't possibly spend it all because they have a self replenishing well. Reaganomics is why the U.S. economy is stagnating. Futher the U.S. economy can out perform China for yet another century if it does what China is now doing. Promote it's internal economy. Buy more U.S. made product instead of foreign. All the economic theory in the world doesn't account for the hard to predict factors that consumers as a market force create affecting any business. Experience and practice owning one's business beats a master's in economics any day! Yeah! A punch in your "MyRightEye".

  1. chippie

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Exchange: gor3don & chippie

    The profits companies earn overseas comes from sales, not from the expenses of manufacturing and component sourcing. Those sales are subject to taxes in the specific country earned. There is nothing wrong with being paid in the country that earned the profits. There are expenses to being overseas and this removes any currency fluctuations. You are asking a company to be subject to double taxation on profits.

    Are you actually saying a US public company is "actively hiding cash"?
    Fresh-Faced Recruit
    Joined: Nov 2005

    I have no problem answering your question in the affirmative.
    Are you saying that they currently are not subjected to double taxation? There in lies the truth( nice pun). And money not repatriated can build factories in China and purchase components in China and thus......(you fill in the blank).
    Fresh-Faced Recruit
    Joined: May 2009

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