Apple TV Vs. Xbox One And Tim Cook Goes To Washington On Our All-New CultCast

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This week on The CultCast: Apple Chief Tim Cook brings his Southern charm to Washington, hints at an iHologram; we break down the Apple tax debacle and say why their overseas billions are too legit to quit; and Xbox One vs. Apple TV, should Apple be worried?

All that and more on this week’s CultCast. Stream or download new and past episodes on your Mac or iDevice by subscribing now on iTunes, or hit play below and let the good times roll.

Show notes up next.

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How Apple Used An Irish Ghost Company To Avoid Paying Taxes On $78 Billion

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As part of expert testimony at today’s Senate Sub-Committee Hearing to Examine Offshore Profit Shifting and Tax Avoidance by Apple Inc., Professor J. Richard Harvey has made a compelling case that the tax system Apple is taking advantage of needs to have its loopholes closed.

Harvey — a distinguished Professor of Practice at Villanova University’s School of Law — says that while what Apple has done is acceptable under current International tax law, it still widely uses tax tricks and gimmicks to avoid paying what it fully owes.

Senator Rand Paul: U.S. Government Needs To “Look In The Mirror” Instead Of Critiquing Apple For Tax Evasion

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Apple executives are testifying before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee today on tax evasion practices, specifically on routing funds offshore to avoid the U.S. government’s 35% corporate tax rate. This is the highest single tax rate in the world, and Apple has avoided paying billions in U.S. taxes by storing more than two thirds of its $100+ billion cash hoard in countries like Ireland.

At the hearing, there are basically two camps: those attacking Apple for using “gimmicks” or loopholes that other multinational corporations take advantage of, and those defending Apple while pointing out the obvious need for reform in the corporate tax code.

While Michigan Senator Carl Levin and Arizona Senator John McCain fall in the first camp, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is clearly in the second. He said that the Senate should be apologizing to Apple during the hearing today, noting that “the committee needs to look in the mirror and see who created this mess.”

Senator John McCain: Apple Is Cheating The U.S.A. In Taxes

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Senator John McCain just laid out his case against Apple in Washington D.C. in a Senate hearing about Apple’s tax rates, and he’s out for blood.

According to McCain, although 95% of Apple’s research and development happens in the USA, they funnel most of their profits through overseas entities that are not tax residents in any country in the world.

Ireland is a big target for McCain here. Ireland has long had liberal tax policies in an attempt to attract foreign companies, but McCain says that Apple paid less than $10 million in taxes on $22 billion in earnings in Ireland, a tax rate of less than 1.20th of 1%.

Apple To Be Grilled By U.S. Senate On “Extensive Tax-Avoidance Strategies” At Hearing Tomorrow

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Apple CEO Tim Cook is scheduled to appear before the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee tomorrow as part of a probe into tax evasion strategies among American corporations. Apple released its official testimony for the hearing earlier today, noting that is is one of the biggest taxpayers in the country.

Among the witnesses tomorrow will be Apple executives, Democratic Senator Carl Levin of Michigan, Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona, and members of the Treasury Department. “The subcommittee will spotlight Apple’s extensive tax-avoidance strategies,” according to Levin.