While Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Carl Levin (D-MI) are accusing Apple of using shelters in other countries to avoid paying U.S. taxes, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) is accusing the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of bullying Apple. Senator Paul's comments came on Tuesday during a subcommittee hearing into corporate tax practices in Washington DC.
Senator Paul, according to the Washington Post said, "I'm offended by a US$4 trillion government bullying, berating and badgering one of America's greatest success stories."
Apple has been targeted in the hearing with both CEO Tim Cook and CFO Peter Oppenheimer testifying about company funds held outside of the country.
In his accusation, Senator Levin stated, "Apple wasn't satisfied with shifting its profits to a low-tax offshore tax haven. Apple sought the holy grail of tax avoidance. It has created offshore entities holding tens of billions of dollars while claiming to be tax resident nowhere."
Senator Paul, however, sees the problem as a government issue. He said,
If anyone should be on trial here, it should be Congress. I frankly think the committee should apologize to Apple. The Congress should be on trial here for creating a Byzantine and bizarre tax code.
Senator McCain agreed that Apple is the largest corporate tax payer in the U.S., but added that he thinks the company is also one of the biggest tax avoiders, too. Apple disagreed, saying that it isn't using any tactics to avoid paying taxes in the country.
Senator Levin added that he feels Apple is avoiding paying taxes in the U.S., and that by doing so the company is pushing its tax burden off to "working families and small businesses."
"Frankly, I'm offended by the tone and tenor of this hearing," Senator Paul said.
The hearing is still underway, so there's a chance we'll see more flareups from Congress before it concludes.