While Apple may not have supported Donald Trump the candidate, they would likely get behind a plan by Donald Trump the President that would allow them to repatriate their overseas profits back to the United States at a reduced tax rate of 10%.
Apple has repeatedly called for tax reform that would allow them to bring their offshore profit stash back to the U.S. During a speech at the Economic Club of New York last month, Candidate Trump promised to do just that, if elected.
This wealth that’s parked overseas, nobody knows how much it is, some say it’s $2.5T, I have people that think it’s five trillion dollars. We’ll bring it back, and it’ll be taxed only at the rate of 10% instead of 35%. And who would bring it back at 35%? Obviously nobody, because nobody’s doing it […] By taxing it at 10% rather than 35%, all this money will come rolling back into our country.
As of the most recent earnings report, Apple has some $237.6 billion in cash reserves, much of which is sitting offshore. Apple CEO Tim Cook has long said that a 35% tax rate was too high to bring the cash stash back stateside. In an 2013 interview, Cook said:
If you look at it today, to repatriate cash to the U.S., you need to pay 35 percent of that cash. And that is a very high number,” Cook said in an interview Thursday. “We are not proposing that it be zero. I know many of our peers believe that. But I don’t view that. But I think it has to be reasonable.
Trump is just the latest in a string of candidates and elected officials who have proposed a tax break in order to convince multinational companies to repatriate their offshore earnings. With his victory on Tuesday, and a Republican majority in both the House and Senate, something might possibly be put in motion next year to put such a tax break in place.