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US Uncut to target Apple retails stores in protest

updated 01:00 am EDT, Fri May 27, 2011

Claims company is leading "tax cheat" effort

A bipartisan group whose mission is to fight companies that try to avoid paying U.S. taxes has decided to target Apple with demonstrations at selected Apple retail stores on June 4th, reports CNet. US Uncut says it is protesting Apple's participation in the Win America Campaign, which backs a proposal before Congress to give corporations that shelter profits overseas -- including Apple, Microsoft, Google, Adobe, Cisco and many other large corporations -- a limited-time "tax holiday" that would allow them to return their profits to the U.S. without paying the normal rate of taxes.

US Uncut and other groups feels that this legislation, dubbed the Freedom to Invest Act of 2011, amounts to a tax break for those corporations. Although other companies such as Bank of America, Pfizer, Duke Energy, General Electric and the big oil companies use the technique of disguising profits as earnings in low-tax countries to reduce their tax liability on a far larger scale, US Uncut plans to demonstrate at a handful of U.S. Apple retail stores to draw attention to the issue, as the retail stores are exceedingly popular with working Americans, the group's target audience. Apple itself would, according to the group, get a $4 billion tax savings if the legislation were to pass, and has lobbied in favor of it through their support of the WAC.

Although Apple has not yet said anything publicly on the issue, companies supporting the legislation argue that they would still be paying taxes on the repatriated profits, which would in turn be reinvested in U.S. jobs and dividends to investors. The proposal as it currently stands would reduce the tax burden on the profits in question (estimated to be around $1 trillion) from 35 percent to five percent, though the bill is not yet in its final form and could change the terms.

Though it is written as a one-time-only tax holiday, opponents worry that it would lead to additional dodging of corporate tax responsibilities, which they say is already crippling the government's ability to function without massive borrowing, and represents an unfair transfer of debt from corporations to average citizens.

The protest, scheduled for June 4th, is part of a national "Day of Action" against the legislation, and will also target other supporters of the bill. While repeatedly referring to Apple as a "great company" that makes "products we love," US Uncut spokesperson Ana Corrie said in a statement that the group is "disappointed to see ... Apple participate in such a deceitful campaign." The group has not provided documentation of their specific charges against Apple, but other corporations targeted by the group have been proven to have avoided genuine tax liability through loopholes and other techniques such as moving profits off-shore.

US Uncut has been holding protests in various cities since last month, generally protesting the tax breaks and subsidies often referred to as "corporate welfare" which often go to large, incredibly profitable companies. Their argument is that the government would need to do less cutting of important social programs such as education and healthcare if they would more aggressively collect taxes owed by misbehaving corporations, and shut off subsidies and other loopholes. As an example, they claim that if Apple paid the taxes on their offshore profits, it would be enough to hire 90,000 new teachers.

The group plans to organize "dance-in" flash mobs in Apple stores, along with providing an "action kit" including chants, slogans, signs and leaflets to interested protesters. Currently, protests are planned for Boston, Seattle and the group's home base of San Francisco. US Uncut has launched a video on YouTube to illustrate their case (seen below). [via CNet]




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. MyRightEye

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -5

    Oh yeah

    And never mind the BILLIONS of $$ of profit Apple imports into this country. Leftist retards.

  1. The Vicar

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    Y'know...

    When I saw this article, and saw that there was one comment, I thought to myself "it's going to be some conservative idiot defending corporations". I'm on a roll these days; I should go buy a lottery ticket.

  1. Bobfozz

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +6

    Still...

    These companies are getting away with corporate tax murder. I love Apple, but everyone should pay. They get embassies, Defense Dept. and special privilegesanytime somethign goes amiss. They should all be paying including Exxon, etc. A lot of people would be surprised that one of the biggest food franchises in the world, gets overseas marketing help from the US Government, McDonald's.

    I have asked people and everyone I asked said they would be WILLING to pay more if these companies brought manufacturing jobs back to the USA... but no one is willing to take the chance. Why does the taxpayer have to be burdened by rich corps.? We send jobs out, what do we get back? Shareholders.

  1. chas_m

    Moderator

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +5

    If true ...

    If the charges the group makes against Apple are accurate, then yes they should withdraw from the WAC. Though there are a lot of other corporations I'd go after first, Apple isn't off the hook just because I like* them.

    *Okay, love.

  1. galley

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Here's how you can teach them a lesson

    Just send your money directly to the government, instead of funneling it through those evil corporations (very inefficient). That'll teach 'em! And the rest of us will be mighty grateful to you, too.

    https://www.pay.gov/paygov/forms/formInstance.html?agencyFormId=23779454

  1. kaisdaddy

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -3

    Seriously?

    There's a bi-partisan group of people who go around protesting organizations that don't pay enough taxes in the US? It sounds like someone has way too much time on their hands.

    The problem is not that companies shelter money overseas. The problem is the toxic US tax climate that prompts corporations (and individuals) to do this. This country has some of the highest corporate tax rates in the world. Why are we surprised at the result?

  1. The Vicar

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +11

    Wrong for four reasons

    1. You're wrong about us having the highest corporate tax rates in the world. We're middling.

    2. They used to be even higher, particularly during periods when the U.S. was undergoing economic prosperity. (Late '50s, late '90s, etc.)

    3. Corporations have managed to game the system so that none of them pay the full rates anyhow. Did you miss the story that GE paid no taxes at all last year?

    4. Many of these corporations are taking government money while paying little or nothing in taxes. Even companies which are supposed to be examples of runaway success, like Wal-Mart, which took something like $100 million last year, as I recall, while it was paying far below the rate it was supposed to pay.

    Geez, you conservatives. It isn't enough that you set things up so we all get screwed; you have to go and tell us it's a good thing, too.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. jarod

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -10

    Taxes should be voted illegal

    The whole tax system is BS. THATs what the people should protest against.

  1. jfelbab

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -5

    The reality...

    is that corporations don't pay taxes. Corporate tax is just another hidden tax on consumers. How do I tax the, ket me count the ways. Our sneaky government likes hidden taxes like this as most don't realize that corporate taxes are simply passed on to consumers. It's part of the overhead of the business so we pay and pay and pay.

    FWIW, I wonder how many of these kooks take every tax deduction on their personal income tax. They are more than likely hypocrites.

    Any business that would not take every legal advantage of the tax law would be violating their fiduciary responsibility.

  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    Why?

    I have a simple question. Why do these xenophobic morons think that tax should be paid in America on profits generated overseas? Why should Apple or anyone else pay a tithe to the U.S. of A. for something manufactured in China and sold in France or Japan or Brazil. It's time these people woke up to the fact that America is JAC; just-another-country. What issues may exist in terms of the taxation of revenues generated within the U.S. is a different matter and something to write to your congressperson about, I guess.

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