Oregon Leader Takes on Apple's Tax Avoidance Schemes in New York Times Letter to the Editor

Deborah Field, co-owner of Paperjam Press in Portland, is a former corporate tax accountant who knows how companies like Apple game the system at the expense of small business owners and average taxpayers.

In response to a New York Times article highlighting Apple's outstanding U.S. tax bill, Deborah penned the following letter that appeared first in the New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “Apple, Congress and the Missing Taxes” (editorial, Aug. 31):

While the editorial is spot on in calling for an end to the deferral process, it sorely missed the mark in characterizing President Obama’s proposed repatriation rate as “reasonable.” Tax holidays incentivize bad business behavior and reward companies that extract wealth from communities with a deep discount and a clean conscience.

A 14 percent rate on repatriated funds previously held offshore is a handout to large multinational corporations at the expense of small-business owners and our customers. Far from reasonable, it’s been estimated by the Main Street Alliance that the proposed holiday rate would be a $20 billion gift to Apple.

With their nearly unlimited access to capital and ability to buy in bulk, industry giants like Apple already hold a competitive edge over small to mid-sized businesses, which can’t afford to hire high-priced tax accountants and lawyers to devise tax avoidance schemes.

To level the playing field for Main Street businesses, Congress must act to end deferral, stop incentivizing offshoring of revenues with tax holidays, and hold all companies accountable to pay what they owe when they owe it.


Portland, Ore.

The writer, a small-business owner and former accountant, is a member of the Main Street Alliance.