Steve Wozniak said that Apple, now a technology giant that he cofounded with Steve Jobs, should pay 50 percent in taxes. He added that all companies in the world making more money should pay the same rate as he pays as an individual.
"I don't like the idea that Apple might be unfair - not paying taxes the way I do as a person. I do a lot of work, I do a lot of travel and I pay over 50 percent of anything I make in taxes and I believe that's part of life and you should do it," Wozniak remarked in a recent interview with the BBC.
Wozniak went on to say that when Jobs started Apple Computers, it was for money, something he was never interested in. That was Job's big thing, he said, and "that was extremely important and critical and good."
Apple's Tax Issues
Apple conducts much of its business in Europe using subsidiaries based in Ireland to take advantage of the country's 12.5 percent tax rate compared to the UK's 20 percent. The company has admitted in recent years that two of its subsidiaries were given a premium rate of 2 percent. It has also amashed offshore cash holdings of about $200 billion to avoid the 35 percent rate imposed in the U.S.
Fortune reports that Apple recently settled a dispute with Italian tax authorities by shelling out $348 million over claims that it diverted profits from its Italian businesses to an Irish subsidiary.
Apple currently faces a European Commission investigation over allegations that it received illegal state aid, allowing it to pay taxes at a rate of around 1.8 percent.
Broken at the Top, an Oxfam America report that analyzes how America and the world's dysfunctional tax system work to encourage tax evasion lists Apple as the number one U.S. corporation to have stashed away $181.1 billion in offshore tax havens through subsidiaries.
Tim Cook To The Defense
In an interview, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook called the allegations "political crap", adding his company would appeal any adverse ruling by the European Commission because it pays every tax dollar it owes.
In a Fortune news story, Cook claimed that Apple is the biggest corporate tax payer in the U.S. and the idea of bringing profits back to the country would cost his company 40 percent.
At the European Parliament's tax committee hearing in March, Apple asserted that it was the largest taxpayer in the world, after it paid $13.2 billion in taxes worldwide in 2015 at an effective rate of 36.4 percent.
Can't these figures convince Steve Wozniak that Apple is giving its fair share in taxes?
Photo: Robert Scoble | Flickr