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Apple Inc. : Apple Uses Subsidiaries To Avoid Billions In Taxes--Report

04/28/2012 | 05:35pm US/Eastern

Apple Inc. (AAPL) is projected to earn more than $40 billion in profits in 2012, but by routing its profits through subsidiaries in U.S. states and foreign countries with low or no corporate taxes, it pays tax at a far lower rate than most companies of its size, the New York Times reported Saturday on its website for its Sunday edition.

Apple is not alone among technology companies in using foreign subsidiaries to reduce its tax bill; in fact it is the nature of the tech industry that permits it, since a downloaded piece of software can be sold from anywhere, the Times reported. Thus, the technology companies in the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index pay taxes at a rate that's less than a third of what other companies on the index pay, according to the Times.

But Apple's rate of cash taxes paid--below 10%--is low even by tech-company standards, the Times reported, and while the company officially listed its worldwide taxes at $8.3 billion last year, the Times disputed that number, saying much of it would be deferred and possibly never be paid.

In a statement, Apple said it "pays an enormous amount of taxes, which help our local, state and federal governments," the statement also said. "In the first half of fiscal year 2012, our U.S. operations have generated almost $5 billion in federal and state income taxes, including income taxes withheld on employee stock gains, making us among the top payers of U.S. income tax."

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