Apple CEO Tim Cook says global tax 'needs to be rehauled'

Tim Cook
Tim Cook (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Tim Cook says the systems in place for global tax need work.
  • He was speaking during a visit to Ireland.
  • Cool will receive an award relating to Apple's presence in the country.

Apple CEO Tim Cook is in Ireland to pick up an award relating to his company's ongoing presence in the country. But it's his comments about taxation that are grabbing headlines with his assertion that global tax "needs to be rehauled" grabbing attention.

Many companies have been accused of using some countries – like Ireland, for example – as a way to move their money out of other countries with higher tax rates. Apple is one company that has been accused of exactly that, but while Apple is fighting an ongoing legal battle on the subject, its CEO is of the belief that something needs to change. As Reuters notes, he wants the OECD – Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development – to make changes.

"I think logically everybody knows it needs to be rehauled, I would certainly be the last person to say that the current system or the past system was the perfect system. I'm hopeful and optimistic that they (the OECD) will find something," Cook said.

Apple is a big player in Ireland with 6,000 workers in-place. It's also in the midst of a $14.4 billion tax battle with the European Union, with Cook saying that Apple believes that "law should not retrofitted" – hence its stance.

Cook also took the time to comment on GDPR, saying he believes that while a start, it isn't quite where it needs to be yet.

The Apple chief executive also said that more regulation was needed in the area of privacy and must go further than the 2018 European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) privacy laws that handed regulators there significantly more powers."I think more regulation is needed in this area, it is probably strange for a business person to be talking about regulation but it has become apparent that companies will not self-police in this area," he said."We were one of the first to endorse GDPR, we think it is overall extremely good, not only for Europe. We think it's necessary but not sufficient. You have to go further and that further is required to get privacy back to where it should be."

Apple continues to make privacy the hill it intends to die on. Even to the point of doing battle with the FBI and President Trump.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.