In addition to getting a peek into Apple’s ultra-secret design studio, and taking a look at Apple’s “store of the future,” 60 Minutes journalist Charlie Rose also sat down for a talk with Apple CEO Tim Cook. In the interview, Cook says emphatically that accusations that Apple has created elaborate schemes to avoid paying taxes on overseas revenue are “Total political crap.”
60 Minutes shared a preview of the interview with Cook. In the interview, Cook blames the outdated U.S. tax code, saying repatriating the money to the United States is not a reasonable thing to do, due to high corporate tax rates.
Rose: You also have more money overseas probably than any other American company. […] Why don’t you bring that home?
Cook: “It would cost me 40% to bring it home, and I don’t think that’s a reasonable thing to do. This is a tax code that was made for the industrial age, not the digital age. It’s backwards. It’s awful for America. It should have been fixed many years ago. It’s past time to get it done.”
Rose: Here’s what they concluded: “Apple is engaged in a sophisticated scheme to pay little or no corporate taxes on $74 billion in revenue held overseas.”
Cook: “That is total political crap. There is no truth behind it. Apple pays every tax dollar we owe.”
Apple’s tax policies have long been under scrutiny in Europe, especially Apple’s “Sweetheart” tax agreement with Ireland, where Apple books its International profits via an Irish subsidiary, allowing it to save a reported 900 million euros from 2008 to 2013.
It was recently reported that the long-running investigation into Apple’s tax arrangements in Ireland have been expanded. The European Commission is reportedly asking for more information about the arrangement from the Irish government. During all investigations, Apple has denied any wrongdoing.
The interview with Cook also touches on encryption technology, which is a hot subject in government circles these days, and will also cover Apple’s manufacturing of its products in China. 60 Minutes airs on CBS this Sunday, December 20 at 7:30PM Eastern Time and 7PM Pacific Time, the football gods willing.