When you're a company as big as Apple, saving on tax bills is important — especially when they're in the billions. Fortunately, its team of accountants has just managed to save it a cool $US9.2 billion.
The trick — I think we can call it a trick — involved financing a $US55 billion stock buyback using debt instead of offshore cash. That means that the US government is unable to bill for tax on the deal. The bond offering, according to Bloomberg, is the "biggest corporate offering on record".
If the cash had been taken from Apple's offshore funds — which amount to around $US100 billion — the company would have had to pay a 35 per cent tax to repatriate the money. But Apple does what it can to avoid tax — and in fact it only stumps up about 1 out of every 40 dollars in corporate income tax to the US.
Still, it's tough to grumble too much: Apple is still one of — if not the — biggest corporate income taxpayer in the country. [Bloomberg]