Apple's been at the center of controversy on Capitol Hill for not bringing more money into the United States, which some politicians have claimed is "tax avoidance." Not so, according to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which sent a letter to Apple clearing it of any wrongdoing, according to AllThingsD.
In a September letter to Apple, released late last week, the SEC said it had completed its review of the company’s fiscal 2012 annual report, and would take no action against it at this time. Evidently, there’s no need to, as the agency has found Apple’s disclosures to be sufficient, particularly now that it has agreed to provide investors with more information about its foreign cash, tax policies, and plans for reinvestment of foreign earnings.
American companies face stiff "repatriation" taxes when they bring money they earn overseas back into the United States. So Apple and countless other American companies that do business overseas find ways to avoid doing so. Apple, with its high profile and its stellar profits over the years, fell under lawmakers' scrutiny earlier this year, causing Tim Cook to go before a Congressional subcommittee to justify Apple's policies.
Cook told committee members that Apple paid all the taxes it owed. "Every single dollar," he said, adding that Apple complies with both the letter and the spirit of the law. Cook has, however, called for a reform of the tax code to make it easier for Apple and other companies with large amounts of cash overseas to bring it back home without paying stiff penalties.