Apple is history’s worst criminal for paying 1.9 percent on international earnings

Associated Press, via Washington Post:

Apple Inc. paid an income tax rate of only 1.9 percent on its earnings outside the U.S. in its latest fiscal year, a regulatory filing by the company shows.

We’ve heard a lot about income tax this year in the U.S. presidential race because of Mitt Romney’s tax returns (and lack thereof), and I guess this sensationalistic piece from the AP is trying to tap into some of that – Apple paid a scant 1.9 percent on earnings outside the United States. The article conveniently drops the fact that the domestic corporate tax rate is 35 percent to give readers some sense of outrage, painting Apple as corporate tax dodger by inference.

Look, the reason Apple and just about every other international corporation that does business in the US, Mitt Romney and other people with decent tax accountants on the payroll pay less than the rest of us is because they can, thanks to a hopelessly screwed up tax code that’s rife with loopholes.