On paper at least, Apple looks to be among the biggest winners from the new GOP tax code that is headed to President Trump’s desk for his signature. The new code makes it much less expensive for big U.S. multinationals to bring home the hoards of cash they’ve hidden away from Uncle Sam in foreign subsidiaries.
While Apple leaves more cash overseas than any other tech company, it’s most likely to take a measured approach to how much it brings home and how it spends the money.
While some analysts have projected that Apple will repatriate about $200 billion of the roughly $252 billion held in overseas affiliates, a source with knowledge of the matter tells Fast Company that the company will bring home only about half of its overseas stash.
A Quarter-Trillion Dollars At Stake
Many big U.S. tech companies park cash overseas to avoid the 35% corporate tax rate they’d incur when bringing it back home. But Apple takes this practice to an extreme. As of the end of September, it held 93.7% (or $252 billion) of its $269 billion in cash and cash equivalents in overseas affiliates.
The new GOP tax bill would impose a 15.5% tax burden on all that cash—and just 8% for hard assets such as equipment and inventory—upon return to the U.S.
The Trump Administration wanted the repatriation tax to be just 10%. But the rate rose higher as Republicans sought ways to pay for the expensive items in the tax bill, like tax breaks for wealthy Americans and corporations.
Trump hopes that U.S. tech companies will use the repatriated money to create new jobs at home. If history is a guide, the newly enriched companies will spend…