Apple Tax Bill Overstated to Investors

Apple Inc.’s real tax bill isn’t as big as the one it reports to its investors.

Among the findings of an investigation by the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations are figures that show Apple’s reported taxes substantially exceed the sum it actually pays the U.S. Treasury.

One factor: Apple uses a conservative approach to accounting for taxes on its overseas earnings. It has been setting aside billions of dollars a year in provisions against possible taxes on income that it earned abroad. But those taxes wouldn’t be due until Apple brought the funds home to the U.S., something Chief Executive Tim Cook said he has no intention of doing.

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