Cisco CEO: Change US Tax Code Or Our Money Goes Elsewhere
Cisco CEO John Chambers has had it with the US tax code, and says his company won’t be spending another dime domestically until something changes. Cisco has $46 billion in cash — 80 percent in foreign bank accounts. And anytime the company uses any of those reserves to spend money in America, it has to cough up an extra 35 percent for taxes. No more, Chambers says.
“Tax policy will determine where our growth and head count will be,” Chambers told CNBC. “I’m a very loyal American citizen and company, but in terms of future growth, unless tax policy changes, you will see that occur outside the US.”
Translation: The company known for its acquisitions—it bought nine US companies in 2012 — will not acquire any additional US companies or hire any US employees until the government relaxes its corporate tax rate. In fact, he even suggested a repatriation holiday—no taxes when money from overseas accounts is used in the US.
“Wherever we acquire is where our head count growth is going to be. If the majority of our money remains outside the U.S., and this depends on tax policies, that’s where you’ll see us acquire going forward,” Chambers said.
Cisco isn’t the only corporation stockpiling cash overseas to avoid the high corporate tax rate. In fact, US companies have about $1.7 trillion deposited offshore. Microsoft keeps about 87 percent of its $66.6 billion in foreign accounts; Oracle has 80 percent of its $31.6 billion overseas; and Apple about 68 percent of it $121.3 billion, according to CNBC. If the US government even relaxed its repatriation tax rates, that’s a huge chunk of potential change.
Think about it Congress. Would we rather have a smaller chunk of a ton of money, or a big chunk of a whole lotta nothin’?
[Image via Flickr/World Economic Forum]
I want more stuff like this!