Tech giants who seek $80 billion tax holiday face stiff opposition

win-america-campaign-logoA coalition that includes some of America’s largest technology companies have launched a lobbying campaign to pressure the Obama administration into allowing a tax holiday worth billions of dollars. The suspiciously named “Win America Campaign” (WAC) includes the likes of Adobe, Microsoft, Google, Apple, as well as the US Chamber of Commerce. Despite claims that the saved money will be used to reinvest in America to create jobs, both the Obama administration’s Treasury Department and citizen advocacy groups say otherwise.

According to the WAC’s mission, these American corporations have a total of about $1 trillion in money that is “trapped overseas.” They would like to bring this money “back home” to America in order “to strengthen our economy, pay down our debt, put people back to work,” and otherwise “invest” in the country. Thing is, they want to bring this money they earned outside of the US back without having to pay high taxes on it. But to do so legally would require changes to US tax code — changes the Obama administration and members of Congress are currently reluctant to make.

“Unfortunately, our broken tax system actually penalizes U.S. businesses that want to bring their global earnings to America. We are left with a choice: provide businesses with incentives to invest their global earnings here at home, or preserve the status quo and keep the money overseas,” says statement on the WAC website.

A similar tax holiday was enacted in 2004, which allowed US corporations to bring their profits to the states at a reduced tax rate of 5.25 percent, well below the standard 35 percent government cut. According to Michael Mundaca, the assistant Treasury secretary for tax policy, many of the companies that benefited from that tax holiday “used the repatriated funds simply to repurchase stock or pay dividends” — not to ‘invest in America’ or create jobs. Not only that, but he says there is currently less incentive for US companies to use their lowly taxed funds to hire more workers than in 2004.

“Today, when U.S. corporations have ready access to cash they have accumulated and are holding here in the United States, it is even harder to make the case that a repatriation holiday will unlock new investment and job creation,” Mundaca writes in a post on the official Treasury blog.

The Obama administration isn’t the only group pushing back against the demands of the WAC. A group called US Uncut has launched a protest campaign against Apple for its involvement in the WAC.

“Apple is a leader of a Tax Cheaters Lobbying Group that is lobbying Congress to give tax dodgers a tax holiday,” write US Uncut in a statement on its website. “They call themselves the ‘Win America Campaign,’ but America will lose $80 billion if they get their way.”

US Uncut urges those who oppose the tax holiday to rally like-minded citizens to protest at Apple Store locations around the country on June 4.

Computing

Microsoft applies for smart fabric patent for use in Surface laptops, wearables

Your favorite devices and gadgets may soon include touch-sensitive surfaces that aren't made of glass. Microsoft has recently filed a patent application for its smart fabric technology, which may be included in Surface laptops and tablets.
Gaming

These Xbox One exclusives are the definition of quality over quantity

Xbox One has a prestigious collection of handpicked titles that you can't play on other consoles. Here are the latest and greatest Xbox One exclusives, including some that are also available on PC
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Gaming

‘PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds’ wins Game of the Year in 2018 Steam Awards

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds took home Game of the Year at the 2018 Steam Awards. The other awards handed out include Labor of Love, Better with Friends, and Most Fun with a Machine.
Computing

These are the 6 best free antivirus apps to help protect your MacBook

Malware protection is more important than ever, even if you eschew Windows in favor of Apple's desktop platform. Thankfully, protecting your machine is as easy as choosing from the best free antivirus apps for Mac suites.
Mobile

The Apollo Traveller is the fastest recharging power bank we’ve ever used

Power banks are getting better all the time, but the Apollo Traveller from Elecjet hits new heights in terms of charging and recharging speeds thanks to the use of a graphene composite for cooling. Here's what happened when we tried it out.
Computing

Get ready for new AirPods, MacBooks as rumored dates for Apple WWDC 2019 emerge

Apple developers and fans alike look forward, every year, to the company's World Wide Developer Conference, WWDC, and for this year, we already have the rumored dates that might bring us Apple's latest tech announcements.
Computing

This Mac keyboard is slim, dark, and clicky, but it’s still not perfect

There aren't many great mechanical keyboards for Macs. The Keychron K1 is just the latest attempt to join that hallowed group, but does its blend of style and substance tick all the boxes?
Computing

These 30 useful apps are absolutely essential for Mac lovers

There are literally hundreds of thousands of great software programs compatible with MacOS, but which should you download? Look no further than our list of the best Mac apps you can find.
Mobile

Need a date for Valentine's Day? Cozy up with the best dating apps of 2019

Everyone knows online dating can be stressful, time-consuming, and downright awful. Check out our top picks for the best dating apps, so you can streamline the process and find the right date, whatever you're looking for.
Computing

One of these monitors will look great next to your new MacBook Pro

Apple doesn't make its beloved Cinema Display monitors anymore, which makes finding the best monitor for the MacBook Pro more difficult. In this guide, we break down some of our favorites and offer something for every size and budget.
Mobile

Smartwatch sales soared in 2018, with Apple leading the charge

The NPD Group, a market research organization, has reported smartwatch sales soared in 2018. Apple is leading the charge, but it's clear there's still room in the market for competitors, as Samsung and Fitbit also did well.
Business

Apple loses battle to use Intel modems in Germany in latest clash with Qualcomm

Apple is following the Federal Trade Commission's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.
Mobile

Worried about extra data charges? Here's how to check your usage on an iPhone

It's common to get a little nervous about nearing data limits. Keep your peace of mind by checking how much data your iPhone is using. Our guide on how to check data usage on an iPhone helps you stay in control.