Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook addressed a Senate hearing on Tuesday that was largely convened to explore how Apple uses foreign subsidiaries to allegedly shelter billions of dollars in income from U.S. taxes.
Not surprisingly, Cook defended both Apple and its tax practices.
“We pay all the taxes we owe — every single dollar,” Cook told members of the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. “We not only comply with the laws but we comply with the spirit of the laws,” he said. “We don’t depend on tax gimmicks.”
The panel’s chairman, Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) complimented Apple’s success and even claimed to use iPhone, but argued that this reality doesn’t exonerate Apple in its alleged use of tax-dodging overseas tactics, which helped Apple avoid paying an estimated $9 billion in U.S. taxes in 2012.
“Apple executives want the public to focus on the U.S. taxes the company has paid, but the real issue is the billions in taxes it has not paid, thanks to offshore tax strategies whose purpose is tax avoidance, pure and simple,” Levin said.
According to the LA Times, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) staunchly defended Apple.
“Frankly, I’m offended by the tone and tenor of this hearing,” Sen. Paul said. “I’m offended by a $4-trillion government bullying, berating and badgering one of America’s greatest success stories… Tell me what Apple’s done that is illegal. They’re doing what their shareholders ask, which is to maximize profit.”