US Uncut, the anti–corporate tax dodging group, recently announced that Apple is its newest target. In a press release, the organization declares it will stage actions across the country on June 4 against the popular company.
The group is demanding Apple remove its support of the Win America Campaign (WAC), an effort aimed at repatriating $1 trillion in foreign accounts back to America at just a 5 percent tax rate. Essentially, WAC’s efforts would lead to a $4 billion tax cut for Apple.
The Win America campaign backs a Congressional proposal called the Freedom to Invest Act of 2011 that seeks to give corporations that shelter profits overseas—including giants like Apple, Microsoft, Google, Adobe, Cisco and many others—a limited-time “tax holiday” that would allow them to return their profits to the United States without paying traditional rates of taxes.
“Apple plays huge games with their taxes. By disguising profits in the United States as foreign earnings in low-tax countries, Apple dodges billions of dollars of taxes they should be paying,“ the group stated.
Last month, Apple reported a record March-quarter growth rate of 83 percent with a 95 percent profit growth and record iPhone sale growth of 113 percent. The company’s second-quarter revenue was a record-setting $24.6 billion.
“When this ‘Win America’ tax cheat coalition wins, we all lose as Americans,” US Uncut San Francisco organizer Ana Corrie stated in the group’s press release. “We are all disappointed to see a great company like Apple participate in such a deceitful campaign that violates their commitment to operate in a socially responsible manner.”
Other companies, such as Bank of America, Pfizer, Duke Energy, General Electric and big oil companies all use this technique of disguising profits as earnings in low-tax countries to lower their tax liability, and on a far lager scale, but US Uncut is targeting Apple due to the company’s popularity. The group hopes to draw attention to the problem of tax dodging by focusing on a brand universally recognized by working Americans.
“I love my iPhone, but I hate tax cheats,” said US Uncut spokesperson Carl Gibson, “The only winners in the WAC effort are the same corporate executives who continue to steal $1 trillion out of our nation’s coffers every decade. We all pay our fair share of taxes, and Apple should too.”
Thus far, the group has put together an “Action Scenario” detailing a typical scenario for how a flash mob might occupy an Apple store. Such an event entails unveiling signs, banners, chanting and distributing leaflets to customers. But it also can involve the more creative approaches of dressing like Apple employees and participating in dance parties.
“It’s outrageous for a company that got $4 billion in tax credits last year to only pay 85 percent less than they should in taxes while the public services we all depend on get the axe,” said US Uncut San Francisco organizer Joanne Gifford. “Should we really be giving away tax loopholes to the folks who sell iPads at the same time we cut Grandma off Medicare? It’s shameful.”
“We already got duped once by this hoax of repatriating profits with the ‘American Jobs Creation Act of 2004’ under Bush,” said US Uncut spokesperson Ryan Clayton, “It did not create jobs and only opened the door for tax haven abusers to continue to cheat the system. As the saying goes: ‘Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.’ ”