Apple's Enormous Cash Reserves Would Still Be Enormous if it Brought the Money Home

National Journal

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With Apple under scrutiny for what it did and didn't pay in taxes, there's one aspect of the company's finances that's getting little attention.

Even if Apple did the unthinkable and brought its $64 billion in international cash holdings back to the United States, the resulting tax bill would still leave the company with one of the largest cash hoards ever.

The company holds up to two-thirds of its liquid funds overseas, the result of a booming international business in iDevices. Apple's resisted repatriating that money because it's cheaper for CEO Tim Cook to park it in an Irish subsidary rather than to bring it home—much to the fury of Congress, which earlier this afternoon conducted an interrogation of Cook and his company's tax-avoidance tactics.

But how much would Apple owe, exactly? Let's run the math. We already know that at the end of April, Apple held $64 billion internationally in reserves. The corporate tax rate is 35 percent. If Apple brought all of that money home, the company would fork over $22.5 billion to the IRS. (For perspective, that's enough for the Pentagon to buy 5,000 Predator drones.) After paying the bill, Tim Cook would still be sitting on a massive pile of gold—$75.2 billion, to be exact.

 

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