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Apple's calls for repatriation tax holiday gain no traction with White House


With some two-thirds of its cash hoard housed overseas, Apple would like a tax holiday to allow it to move that money back to the U.S., but its pleas have fallen on deaf ears at the White House.

With $64 billion in cash remaining offshore, Apple executives said during a conference call on Monday that they have no plans to bring that money back to the U.S. because of taxes. For some time now, Apple has lobbied the U.S. government for a tax holiday that would give the company an incentive to bring that money stateside.

"Repatriating the cash would result in significant tax penalties," Apple Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer said. "The tax laws currently allow for a significant disincentive. We've expressed our views to Congress and the White House."

But despite Apple's pleas, both behind the scenes and public, White House officials are not interested in offering a "repatriation holiday" for corporations to bring overseas funds stateside, according to Talking Points Memo.

"A White House official told TPN that the Obama Administration specifically chose not to propose a repatriation holiday — a temporary tax break on overseas cash brought back to the U.S., which Apple and other tech companies have sought for years," Carl Franzen reported.

"Instead, the official told TPM that the White house in late February put forth 'a comprehensive corporate tax reform plan that simplifies the code, levels the playing field for American businesses and encourages investment here at home.'"

While Apple's interest in a tax holiday hasn't gained traction at the White House, the iPhone maker has found some support in Congress. Specifically, Democratic Senator Kay Hagan of North Carolina has been a key proponent of the Foreign Earnings Reinvestment Act.

"(This week's) announcement by Apple only highlights the need to pass common-sense legislation that would allow American companies to put $1 trillion of foreign earnings back to work in the U.S. economy," Hagan reportedly said. "our stagnant economy demands practical, creative and bipartisan solutions right now."

Hagan's plan, which has gained support from Republican Senator John McCain, would allow companies to return their profits to the U.S. at a temporarily reduced tax rate. Hagan believes it would trigger the flow of $1 trillion back into the U.S. economy.