Woz: Apple’s Tax Practices Really Aren’t Fair

Woz thinks that Zuckerberg is quite the businessman.

Apple has received a lot of heat from the U.S. Senate lately regarding its international tax practices and off-shore cash, and you can now add Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak to the list of Apple tax dissenters.

Woz said that he doesn’t think Apple’s tax practices are really fair, and suggested that Apple, and other large firms, be taxed on their income.

In an interview with the BBC, Woz had the following to say regarding Apple’s tax practices:

People are not taxed on profit, they are taxed on income, corporations should be taxed the same as people in my mind, that is how it should be, that would make things fair and right.

“That means corporations pay taxes on all of their revenues or people only pay it on a tiny amount called profit and until we rectify that the whole problem is just with us forever. That is why the rich get richer and the poor get poorer and I am always for the individual being much more important than their training, same reason I created the Apple computer at the start, it was to empower the little guy.

Tim Cook appeared before the U.S. Senate Sub-Committee Hearing to Examine Offshore Profit Shifting and Tax Avoidance by Apple Inc. in Washington, D.C. less than two weeks ago. During his testimony Cook pushed for a dramatic revision of the tax code to bring it up to speed for the digital age.

During his interview, Woz continued to rally against the way most people are taxed and professed his belief that individuals should be taxed on their profit, rather than their income.

“Why do businessmen get to write off lunches and cars? If normal people did they would have more savings.

“That is really not fair, that businesses are not treated the same as people.

“A person would say, ‘my life is my business and I have to pay for my home, pay for my clothes, my food and what is left over if I make a little money some year and put it in savings, that is my profit’, but people are not taxed on profit, they are taxed on income.”

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  • Robert X

    Hey Woz, shut up.

  • dcj001

    I am really surprised that Woz is wrong about this.

  • rigit_digit

    Hey Woz – Newflash – Apple does pay taxes on all income. The issue is the income they receive from sales OUTSIDE of the US. That money resides in Ireland and is used to fund the non U.S. investments – and it is not earning US interest either. Why is this so hard for people to understand.

  • gettysburg11s

    You know, I really don’t care what Woz has to say on any subject. I am not sure why he keeps making these type of comments. I bet Apple doesn’t lose any sleep. Really, shouldn’t he be an Apple evangelist? He is constantly bad mouthing the company he helped create….doesn’t make much sense.

  • goodvillenews

    hey woz, something new from you since 1980′ ? It’s been a while, you know ;)

  • technochick

    He basically needs to shut up. Apple is following the law and no one can prove otherwise. If he thinks the tax code is wrong then he can get behind the notion of changing it. Including the taxes he pays cause you can bet he takes every cut he legally can without a second thought

  • technochick

    Hey Woz – Newflash – Apple does pay taxes on all income. The issue is the income they receive from sales OUTSIDE of the US. That money resides in Ireland and is used to fund the non U.S. investments – and it is not earning US interest either. Why is this so hard for people to understand.

    Yep. Income earned out of the US via sales to non US markets. I think it’s more fair that international companies like Apple has several headquarters because why should, for example, the EU fund income for the US. That said though perhaps the notion of ‘income tax’ needs to be dropped and companies pay the import and sales tax for what happens in each country to that country rather than the country that houses a regional office. That country might get a little ‘land tax’ if you will for covering police, fire service etc same as a private citizen might pay property or council tax for the same things

  • thegraphicmac

    Woz really needs to STFU. About everything. Every time Apple is in the headlines, this ass clown is pulling a “me too” for any website that will quote him. I wouldn’t care, except that he makes a lot of assumptions, and is wrong about them 90% of the time—as he is in this case.

  • MrsCleaver

    “Woz: Apple’s Tax Practices Really Aren’t Fair”

    Does this mean Woz will start paying back taxes on the money he got from Apple, or better yet, pay the money right back to Apple?

    Woz should concentrate on thinking, creating, shilling for Android, giving speeches and signing old Macs, or anything else he cares to do… but he should STOP criticizing the company that made him a multimillionaire. It’s small, undignified and just plain silly.

  • bondr006

    Woz is just a sock puppet. Nothing more, nothing less!

    sock puppet photo: Sock Puppet Sock_Puppet_1_small.jpg.

  • lwdesign1

    My respect for Woz diminishes with each press release I read about him. Apple does NOT move US money offshore to tax havens. Apple is also NOT required by law to move any money made from sales they’ve made in other countries back to the US. Apple is being made out to be a “tax avoider” when this is simply not true. If they were, they’d have been nailed to the wall in the recent committee investigation and would have federal tax agents and FBI raiding the Apple campuses right now.

    Every business is allowed to claim business expenses and write them off of their taxable income. Individuals and families are also allowed specific writeoffs deductions by the tax codes. Woz’s bleeding heart liberal stance shows he has zero concept that Apple as a business provides EXTREMELY valuable assets to the US in the form of:
    1. Employment for tens of thousands of staff throughout the US, each of which pay income tax.
    2. Business opportunities and job creation for programmers for the Mac and iOS in terms of billions of dollars a year, the income of which is taxable by the US government.
    3. Apple pays the largest amount of corporate income tax of any US company.

    Businesses require support, incentives and assistance from state and federal governments in order to stay in business so that they can continue to provide employment and pay taxes. Heavy taxation of businesses makes it harder to make a profit and stay in business. Increased production, job creation and tax payments deserve to be rewarded, not penalized.

  • technochick

    You know he’s a bit wrong. Private people are essentially taxed on profit due to various deductions, credits etc.

  • technochick

    You know he’s a bit wrong. Private people are essentially taxed on profit due to various deductions, credits etc.

  • catalyst_jarland

    It saddens me that Woz is so fascinated with the idea of continually expressing what I can only assume is bitterness about his past with Apple. No matter the topic, if there is an opinion to take which allows him to disagree with the company, he consistently steps forward and “politely” takes what he tries to pass off as the “reasonable” approach. Well, Mr. Wozniak, you tell me where the money is more likely to circulate through our economy. Inside our border or outside our border? Have all the opinions you want, stand for whatever you think you stand for, but the side that should be compromising is the side that wants to take money that it didn’t earn. More drones and congressional pay raises, that’s what they think is more important than bringing home the rewards of booming economies in other parts of the world.

  • HerbalEd

    He basically needs to shut up. Apple is following the law and no one can prove otherwise. If he thinks the tax code is wrong then he can get behind the notion of changing it. Including the taxes he pays cause you can bet he takes every cut he legally can without a second thought

    I think the tax laws are not fair to most people … the average Joes & Janes … but Apple is not breaking any tax laws … the same laws as written and passed by the congress than called Cook on the DC carpet.

    But even Cook himself told the congressional panel the tax laws are screwy and need to be changed.

    Meanwhile Woz, and all of use here are taking every legal tax break we can to pay as little tax as possible.

  • efforting

    For shame that Woz doesn’t bow down at the alter of Apple that gave him everything but instead worships reason.
    Have any of you Woz haters answered the questions he posed in the article?
    I thought it was quite clear. Why is it ok for businessmen to write off lunches and cars? Why can’t we?

    Whats with the double standard of treating corporations as people when it comes to political donations but not to paying taxes?

    Though it’s a complex issue, but I’m sure we can all agree that the tax system is broken.
    Woz is not attacking Apple as much as he is doing what he does best as an engineer. Thinking outside the box, sharing ideas and opening up a dialog about what we can do together to fix the injustice in the system.

    Apple has BILLIONS offshore but needs to take out a loan to pay dividends, really?

About the author

Buster HeinBuster Hein is Cult of Mac's Senior News Editor and lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Twitter: @bst3r.

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