Being reported in the Wall Street Journal, the EU to Investigate Corporate Tax Codes in Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands after criticism of their tax rates for Corporate offshore havens. AAPL specifically being mentioned in the news as theirs use of favorable Irish tax laws allowed it to pay just a 3.7% tax rate on non-U.S. income during its last fiscal year. That, in turn, is a big reason $132.2B of Apple's $150.6B cash balance at the end of FQ2 was offshore. Tim Cook was grilled by Congress last year over Apple's offshore tax payments; Cook responded in part by calling for an overhaul of the oft-criticized U.S. corporate tax code.
Of course there has been an ongoing push up on the Hill for another "tax holiday" where Corporations can repatriate overseas funds. This being met with resistance as the 2004 tax holiday saw the funds spent, not on R&D and job creation, but largely returned returned to shareholders via dividends and buybacks; acts which were specifically prohibited.......but they did it anyway. Heaven forbid anyone be punished for not following the rules.
Feel like moving some assets Corporate America? Maybe push some overseas M&A out the door and use that cash; stat. Of course that could be quite pricey with markets at all time highs but it's probably still cheaper than paying a higher tax rate. Bribes lobbying costs probably even cheaper (wink wink)