Tim Cook: Apple Should Be The Catalyst For Tax Reform, ‘We Don’t Use Gimmicks’


Seriously, the IRS lets us do all sorts of things.
Seriously, the IRS lets us do all sorts of things.

In his interview today at the AllThingsD D11 conference, Apple CEO Tim Cook responded to questions from Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg about Apple taxes. Relating his time with the congressional subcommittee this past week, Cook, said that he felt strongly about how the company was portrayed by lawmakers.

Cook said that he wanted to be a catalyst for a discussion, coming to the hearing with a proposal rather than a defense, one for a revenue-neutral and major overhaul of corporate taxes nationwide.

Cook said that he felt simplicity was good, and how Apple approaches everything. The current tax system, he said, results in a two foot high tax return every year. When asked what he would like to do with it, he replied, “I would suggest we gut it.”

Continuing, Cook said that Apple didn’t use tax gimmicks, but admitted to taking advantage of the system as it currently stands. Cook pointed at the way the tax code has been band-aided, fixed in bits and pieces, over the years. Cook agreed with Mossberg when the interviewer said this was probably due to corporate lobbyists.

Cook said that Apple pays more US taxes than any other corporation, about $6 billion a year. His plan, he says, might even have Apple pay more than that.

In response to questions on Ireland, Cook asserted that Apple had no special deal with the Irish government, but hinted that he saw no reason why all the profits from a global company should come back to the US as taxes. He noted that if everything was taxed here, then there might be unforeseen shifts in development overseas. Not all multi-national companies are as transparent or ethical as Apple.

Source: All Things D