(Ferenstein Wire) – Big tech companies are safeguarding billions of dollars in offshore tax havens, according to a new study. Apple alone, the biggest offender, is stashing $181 billion in revenue with an estimated tax burden of $59.2 billion. In other words, Apple’s taxes could pay for nearly the entirety of President Obama’s plan for free two-year community college (an estimated $60 billion).
The study, conducted by Citizens for Tax Justice and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund, looked at public financial filings and found that “nearly 72 percent of the Fortune 500 operate subsidiaries in tax haven jurisdictions.”
Apple’s Tim Cook has long been unapologetic for the tech giant’s tax strategy and testified before Congress that “we pay all the taxes we owe.” Cook did, however, give a small concession: Apple might consider repatriating the money if the tax code were changed.
Apple enjoys somewhere near 2 percent corporate taxes in Ireland; it has also managed some legal ninjitsu where it does not pay any taxes at all on one of its international operations that netted 30 percent of its profits between 2009-2011.
Whether or not one blames shady corporate loopholes or an over burdensome tax code–that’s a lot of money. But with congressional leadership in shambles, this does not appear to be an issue they will be able to resolve anytime soon.