As part of a series they're doing on the "i-economy," the NYT published a piece over the weekend pointing out that Apple, despite making insane, record-breaking profits last year, paid hardly a dime more in corporate taxes than they had the previous year. How'd they get away with that, you ask? The same way many corporations do these days, by keeping offices in low-tax places like Nevada, Ireland, and Luxembourg and skirting around existing tax law however they can.
It sounds, in fact, like Apple paying up might have done wonders to help solve fiscal crisis the U.S. government is in. They paid under 10% in taxes on their $34.2 billion in profits last year, and their bill could have been about $3 billion higher had they not been keeping all these semi-fake offices around the world. As the Times reports, "Apple was a pioneer of an accounting technique known as the 'Double Irish With a Dutch Sandwich,' which reduces taxes by routing profits through Irish subsidiaries and the Netherlands and then to the Caribbean. Today, that tactic is used by hundreds of other corporations — some of which directly imitated Apple’s methods, say accountants at those companies."
Perhaps as Apple is set to make the highest profit ever recorded by an American company in 2012 we should consider making some noise and getting them to cough up some more to fix some roads and save Medicare.