A question for those who would tax companies

International sales accounted for 64pc of the $39.2bn of revenue that Apple generated in the quarter, with chief executive Tim Cook describing the demand in China as \”mind boggling\”.

If all of the kit is made in China and 64% of it is sold outside the US, why should the US Govt get a cut of that 64% of the business?

10 comments on “A question for those who would tax companies

  1. Leave aside what we think of individual government priorities or effectiveness. Which government do we think needs the cash more:

    USA:
    – GDP per head $48,000
    – Minimum wage $7.25 per hour

    China
    – GDP per head $8,000
    – Minimum wage $200 per month (Shanghai)

  2. Serf – “Leave aside what we think of individual government priorities or effectiveness. Which government do we think needs the cash more:”

    But we can’t really leave aside government priorities or effectiveness. After all Bo Guagua needs a new Ferrari to wrap around some other tree.

  3. I seem to remember you being relaxed about Amazon (Lux) SA doing all its business in UK/outside Luxembourg but paying Luxembourg taxes. So I take this as a plea for no corporate taxes, not just low ones. Fair enough. Has it been tried in any reasonably sized economy, and if so, what happened? For avoidance of doubt, I don’t see your proposal as inherently pro – rich – there’s nothing to stop Romney being taxed at 50%+ on his dividends. Just wondered if it had been tried outside small islands.

  4. Luke (#5), in a way the US “check the box” system shows that it can be done, at least for non-quoted companies.

    That allows companies to be taxed as partnerships, so no tax at the corporate level (and so no tax for a non-US shareholder on non-US business).

  5. Richard (6), thanks. I can see that might persuade non-US citizens to invest in us businesses that trade outside us.
    But surely no one would use that for profitable US business under present rules?

  6. A question we can answer, Timothy: it is because the US thinks it can tax the whole world. Just ask anyone married to a US expat.

  7. Well, the US has got to pay for its wars somehow….Iraq and Afghanistan didn’t come cheap, and Iran is only a matter of time.

  8. Just wait:I bet ten shiny pee that the US moves to tax worldwide profits of corporations, and will also require full disclosure by any company doing business with the US, no matter how little. There’s a bunch of progressive isolationist luddites in charge and looking to rake in money from any imaginable source.

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