Tim Cook calls for global overhaul of corporate taxes


Tim Cook delivers the goods at Apple's iPhone 11 event.
Cook says worldwide corporate tax reform is "desperately" needed and that Euroepan privacy regulation needs tightening.
Photo: Apple

Apple CEO Tim Cook called for worldwide corporate tax reform Monday, saying the tech giant “desperately” wants the system to be fair.

Speaking in Ireland at an awards event, Cook said he thinks “logically everybody knows it needs to be rehauled. I would certainly be the last person to say that the current system or the past system was the perfect system.”

Reported by Reuters, Cook commented that while the international tax system is “very complex,” he’s “hopeful and optimistic” that reforms to the system need to be “fair”.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) – the intergovernmental body that oversees global reforms such as corporate taxes – is currently reviewing the issue.

An answer to the issue is not expected to happen anytime soon. The European Union’s second-highest court began reviewing the matter in September and has openly admitted an investigation could run for years. 

Privacy & Ireland

Cook addressed two other important issues, including his continuing campaign for online privacy. He said that more regulation was needed in the area of privacy and must go further than the 2018 European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) privacy laws that handed regulators there significantly more powers.

“I think more regulation is needed in this area, it is probably strange for a business person to be talking about regulation but it has become apparent that companies will not self-police in this area,” he said.

He commented that GDPR is “overall extremely good,” but that is was “not sufficient” and that it needs to “go further” to “get privacy back to where it should be.”

Cook also promised the company’s continuing commitment to operations in Ireland, where it has operated since 1980, saying its promise to the Republic is “unshakeable.” Apple employs some 6,000 workers in Ireland.

Cook made his comments in a one-on-one interview with Reuters while in Ireland to accept an award from the government for the company’s 40 years of business in the Republic.


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