Apple CEO to call for corporate tax overhaul

May 16, 2013 at 6:29 PM

WASHINGTON, May 16 (UPI) -- Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook says he will call for corporate tax reform to make it less costly for U.S. corporations to repatriate cash from overseas.

Cook told The Washington Post in an interview Thursday he will propose a "dramatic simplification" of corporate tax law next week when he testifies at a Senate hearing on the subject of getting companies to bring cash back to the United States from overseas and use the money to generate employment and foster research and development.

Citing a report by JPMorgan, the Post said more than 1,000 U.S. companies -- including Apple -- have about $1.7 trillion in overseas accounts.

Defenders of the practice argue U.S. corporate tax rates are prohibitively high.

Cook told the Post corporations that repatriate cash have to pay tax of 35 percent on whatever they bring back to the United States.

"And that is a very high number," he said. "We are not proposing that it be zero. I know many of our peers believe that. But I don't view that. But I think it has to be reasonable."

Experts estimate Apple has $145 billion in cash but only about $45 billion of that is held in the United States, the newspaper said.

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