Because Apple is so profitable, the dollars involved will
certainly attract attention (this is a Senate committee after all,
so that is the point). The report alleges Apple reduced its U.S.
corporate income tax by an average of $10 billion-a-year for the
past four years. Since the corporate levy generated only about
$240 billion in 2012, $10 billion foregone from one company is a
very big number indeed.
But while it added a few interesting twists, Apple cut its taxes
with the same tools multinationals have been using for years to
minimize their worldwide tax liability. And if there is a scandal,
I suppose it is the very ordinariness of these transactions.
Apple’s tax avoidance shop, it seems, is a lot less innovative
than its phone designers.