How much does the Treasury stand to gain if Apple takes advantage of the one-off 15% tax rate for repatriating overseas cash that was introduced in the bill that Congress and Senate just passed? How about $39 billion?
Yep, that’s the amount that the government will get richer with if Apple brings home most of its $252 cash hoard
stuffed in tax heavens. In fact, Apple seems to have already set aside $36 billion for exactly that purpose, so it could intend to repatriate its holdings once and for all, and stop being scrutinized for using an offshore paradise or two to avoid excessive taxation, as most big multinationals do.
The thing is, however, that Apple’s patent royalties accounting trick that was mostly used to justify the cash parked overseas, is being closed as a loophole by the tax cut bill. Apple will have to pay a very similar amount now, no matter if it chooses to continue using the intellectual property loophole, or to simply bring the cash home, and pay lower US taxes going forward. One thing is for sure – companies are already starting to adjust to the new, lower tax realities, and AT&T even celebrated the bill’s passage by granting a $1000 bonus
to its more than 200,000 employees.