A personal blog by Khürt Williams, with imagery, and inchoate ramblings on coffee, beer, and geekery.
Five minutes ago I was reading an article on CNet about a group that plans to protests Apple’s participation in a business coalition, the Win America Campaign, that is lobbying congress to change a tax law. As I understand it, the companies are trying to urge congress to pass laws that would them to avoid paying taxes on over sea earnings. Earning they have already paid overseas taxes on.
The WAC is supported by a number of other technology companies, including Microsoft, Google, and Adobe. The group is currently lobbying for the Freedom to Invest Act of 2011, legislation introduced earlier this month that would temporarily lower taxes on American companies that sell goods and services abroad.
The problem is that American based businesses, like Apple, earn a bit of income in other countries. US law requires those companies to pay taxes on that income when that money is moved from foreign accounts to local accounts. The businesses – quite rightly in my opinion – are claiming that the law is unfair. They’ve already paid taxes in the other country, some of which have tax rates higher than the US.
Imagine being an American living overseas and paying local taxes that are close to 50% and then filing a tax return with the US IRS and being required to pay even more taxes. That’s exactly the situation my parents found themselves in. My dad worked for a British bank in the Caribbean on an island where the income tax rate is 45%. Then he had to pay the US government their pound of flesh. It’s a good thing I had a college scholarship.
So a group of these companies have joined together to lobby the US government to create a tax amnesty. To let them bring the foreign earnings back to the US. Without penalty. I don’t see a problem with that.
The protest group, US Uncut, thinks that these companies should be required to pay all the taxes. The problem for me is that this group is claiming Apple, as well as the other companies in the Win America Campaign, “tax cheat”. This pisses me off. It’s not a cheat when you play within the established rules. The name calling is just plain bullshit. If you don’t like tax loopholes then protest to the people who created them; the government.
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