The €13 billion bite

The key nugget from The Economist's (as always) rational take:

"The Americans are fretting mainly because the ruling signals that Europe will lay claim to some of the more than $2 trillion of profits that American firms have amassed offshore, under the deferral provisions. Policymakers in Washington believe only the federal government has the right to tax this, as and when it is brought home. The Brussels decision may spur American politicians to set aside their differences on tax reform and agree on a package with a reduced tax rate for profits that firms repatriate; better that than to let Europe dip into the offshore pot, they think."

Yeah, the silver-lining in this farce is that it is likely going to force U.S. lawmakers to band together against a common "enemy" and make sure that money currently sitting overseas (almost all of Apple's cash) comes back to the U.S. That likely means a tax "holiday" at some point in the near future, which Tim Cook seems to be not-so-subtly hinting at... 

And if that happens, there's going to be a lot of companies beyond Apple that take advantage of it...

Still, if I were Cook, I might try this tactic as well.

An aside, just for some context: Apple made more profit in just the last holiday quarter than what the EU wants them to pay.


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