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Donald Trump hates Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) CEO Tim Cook.
Why? Because Cook keeps $200 billion of Apple’s cash in offshore tax heavens . . . outside the grasp of Uncle Sam.
To boycott Apple, the Donald uses a Samsung Galaxy to update his Twitter feed and engage his supporters.
At last week’s economic policy speech in Detroit, Trump outlined his plans for jump-starting the U.S. economy.
Donald Trump Plan and Income Investors
For income investors, one of the most interesting aspects is Trump’s plan to encourage U.S. companies to bring their cash back from overseas tax heavens.
This is what Donald Trump said last week:
“We are also going to bring back trillions of dollars from American business that are now parked overseas. They can’t bring their money back into our country.
Our plan will bring that cash home . . . applying only a 10% tax.
This money will be reinvested in states like Michigan . . . which are having serious problems.”
Apple has 93% of its cash overseas. Yet it isn’t the only company that keeps cash outside of the U.S. in order to avoid taxes.
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Last year, U.S. companies held $1.7 trillion in cash. Some 72% of that was held in overseas bank accounts, as part of a tax-avoidance strategy.
Bringing cash back into the U.S. is known as “repatriation.” If companies bring their cash back, they are taxed at 40%. That’s a big deterrent for most companies and their executives.
Earlier this year, Cook talked with Charlie Rose on “60 Minutes” about the issue. He said, “I’d love to (bring the money back). It would cost me 40% to bring it home. And I don’t think that’s a reasonable thing to do.”
Until the U.S. government changes the rules, companies will continue to hoard cash overseas.
This is a pressing issue, and one that Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton could tackle in 2017. American companies ̶ and most people ̶ want U.S. companies to bring their cash back into the country. But the tax rules need to be changed to give companies a reason to do so.
Huge One-Time Dividends
Most proponents think that repatriation would encourage U.S. companies to make big investments at home. But that’s not very likely.
Instead, they would likely reward their shareholders with huge one-time dividends. These special dividends could reach staggering levels in 2017.
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