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Tim Cook says Apple tax avoidance claims are ‘total political crap’

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Apple CEO Tim Cook

Tax is a tricky business, and Apple’s CEO isn’t happy with the state of affairs.

Tim Cook has it back at persistent claims that Apple is wilfully avoiding tax payments in the US.

The Apple chief executive described such allegations as “total political crap” during an interview with 60 Minutes’ Charlie Rose.

The broadcaster questioned Cook over how he feels when tax criticisms are levied against Apple.

We pay more taxes in this country than anyone,” he said, adding: “We happily pay it.”

Rose argued that Apple is right to pay more; after all, Apple is the most valuable company in the world by a long way, in terms of market capitalsation.

However, Cook also pointed out that over two-thirds of Apple’s business is overseas.

“I’d love to bring it home,” explains the Apple CEO, adding that he doesn’t because “it would cost me 40% to bring it home, and I don’t think that’s a reasonable thing to do.”

Cook continues: “This is a tax code, Charlie, that was made for the Industrial Age, not the Digital Age. It’s backwards. It’s awful for America. It should have been fixed many years ago.”

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This isn’t the first time Cook has been under fire over taxes.

The CEO was questioned in front of Congress two years ago. As Rose points out, Congress concluded that Apple is holding $74 billion overseas, using schemes to pay little or no taxes.

To that, Cook responds: “That is total political crap. There is no truth behind it. Apple pays every tax dollar we owe.”

The full 60 Minutes interview is due to air in the US on CBS this Sunday.

Do you think Apple is at fault here, or is the US tax system not up to scratch? Let us know in the comments.

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