Don’t look for the Occupy movement to picket Apple. The iPhone maker is among just a few tech companies paying their fair share of corporate taxes. According to a report released Thursday, Apple paid a 31 percent tax rate. By comparison, the likes of HP, Yahoo and Amazon.com appeared to have paid less than half the 35 percent corporate rate — or even lower.
The report by advocacy group Citizens for Tax Justice and nonpartisan Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, checked the financial statements of 280 corporations on the Fortune 500 list. Of those, 30 paid no federal taxes over the previous three years, the groups charge. Among Silicon Valley, both Apple and Intel paid a 31 percent corporate tax, while Internet retail giant Amazon.com paid only a 7.9 percent tax rate on $1.8 billion in profits between 2008 to 2010.
The list was released amid spreading ‘Occupy’ demonstrations of anger at the wealth disparity in the U.S. and so-called ‘corporate greed’ seen as causing much of today’s economic troubles. Although the violence-tinged Occupy movement in Oakland, Calif. has drawn much public attention, the demonstrations have also made their way to the state’s Bay Area, home to many high-tech companies and startups.
In August, we reported Apple had joined a Washington, D.C. lobbying campaign to provide a “tax holiday” for large corporations that bring home cash stashed in overseas banks. The “WIN American Campaign” effort also attracted the likes of Google, Oracle and Cisco. The proposed 5-day tax holiday would “immediately inject up to $1 trillion into our economy and provide businesses with the security and certainty they need to help Americans get back to work,” according to the campaign’s website. In a bit of odd political bedfellows, Apple found itself aligned with a Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives and against President Barack Obama, who opposes the plan. During the 2008 election, Apple was among companies that gave $1.3 million to Obama’s election effort.