Wozniak: Apple Should Pay Much More Tax

Wozniak: Apple Should Pay Much More Tax
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This story originally appeared on Fortune Magazine

Woz thinks 50 percent would be fair.

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak thinks the company — and all other companies — should be paying a 50 percent tax rate.

Woz told the BBC that he doesn’t like the idea that Apple is not paying taxes the way he does as an individual, saying he was worried its tax practices may be “unfair.”

“I do a lot of work, I do a lot of travel and I pay over 50 percent of everything I make in taxes, and I believe that’s part of life and you should do it,” Wozniak said. Asked if Apple should be paying such a rate, he replied: “Every company in the world should.”

Not that Woz, who left Apple over three decades ago, can do anything about it.

“I would not have any power and I don’t think it would be right for me, Steve Wozniak, to try to influence how Apple handles it, and I would have no effect anyway,” he said. “They’re going to take the thing that saves the last little penny. Apple’s so huge they don’t have to give in to anything.”

Apple recently paid $348 million to settle a dispute with the Italian tax authorities, over the way it funnelled Italian profits through an Irish subsidiary in order to minimize its taxes.

It could also face a bill for billions in back-taxes if the European Commission concludes that Ireland gave it preferential treatment with its tax deal there, in a way that amounted to illegal state aid.

The company (like others) has made use of complex arrangements involving Ireland and Bermuda to cut its tax bill.

However, Apple CEO Tim Cook recently said the accusation that it was avoiding taxes was “total political crap” and the idea of bringing profits back to the U.S. was not “reasonable” because it would “cost me 40 percent to bring it home.” He also claimed Apple is already the biggest corporate tax payer in the U.S.

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