How Apple’s phantom taxes hide billions in profit | ajc.com

How Apple’s phantom taxes hide billions in profit  | ajc.com.

“On Tuesday, Apple is set to report financial results for the second quarter. Analysts are expecting net income of $9.8 billion. But whatever figure Apple reports won’t reflect its true profit, because the company hides some of it with an unusual tax maneuver.

 

Apple Inc., already the world’s most valuable company, understates its profits compared with other multinationals. It’s building up an overlooked asset in the form of billions of dollars, tucked away for tax bills it may never pay.

 

Tax experts say the company could easily eliminate these phantom tax obligations. That would boost Apple’s profits for the past three years by as much $10.5 billion, according to calculations by The Associated Press.”

 

Again the age-old line between making clever use of existing tax laws and tax evasions, at least on the surface, appears vanishingly thin. Of course, it’s generally easier to avoid millions in taxes than it is thousands. Regardless of the somewhat distasteful appearance of such maneuvering, it points up the fact that competent counsel on the tax front can be a tremendous asset to business, as legitimate opportunities for real savings exist. The lesson being, having (and regularly consulting with) a good accountant is one of the most important things a business can do.

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2 comments on “How Apple’s phantom taxes hide billions in profit | ajc.com

  1. I don’t understand why they would hide profits when it negatively affects their company. Apple stock is down 5% because of their “low” second quarter analysis.

    • Two possible reasons that I can think of: (1) to reduce tax liability, and/or (2) to strategically set them selves up for greater perceived period over period gains (short term depression of stock price for a longer term and greater gain later).

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