Apple paid less than 2% income tax on earnings outside US in 2012

The Washington Post says, "Apple Inc. paid an income tax rate of only 1.9 percent on its earnings outside the U.S. in its latest fiscal year, a regulatory filing by the company shows."


Apple made $36.8 billion on foreign earnings in the fiscal year ended Sept. 29 but yet only paid $713 million in tax on those earnings. According to the general tech media, that's disgusting, irresponsible and, according to the Washington Post, completely legal. story here...but of course, that doesn't stop the media from jumping all over Apple for doing it because, to those of us working stiffs who don't have access to the nuances and vagaries of the US Tax Code, it seems like Apple should have to pay more, doesn't it?

Granted, it doesn't help when the Post describes some of the accounting moves as “Double Irish With a Dutch Sandwich,” which routes profits through Irish and Dutch subsidiaries and then to the Caribbean. It just sounds suspicious, doesn't it?

Interestingly enough, the Post has another angle that a lot of the Tech Media is ignoring. Apple is actually hurting itself a little bit by holding back some of its overseas profits just in case US Tax law changes and Apple is forced to pay taxes on it. If they would stop doing that, it might increase Apple’s profits for past three years by as much $10.5 billion, according to The Associated Press.

But let's just go ahead and bury that bit of news because it doesn't fit the preconceived notion of Apple as the Big Bad Capitalist screwing America.

Here's the proof - Macgasm, Cult of Mac, ZDNet, CNET UK and The Guardian are just a few of the sites who gleefully reported the little amount of tax Apple pays on its foreign earnings (ZDNet calls it "morally bankrupt (tax) techniques in order to appease its shareholders...") yet none of them report the fact that Apple is reporting less in profits because of the Tax Code.