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Tim Cook Says Notion That Apple Avoids Paying Taxes Is 'Political Crap'

by Reuters and Anita Balakrishnan, CNBC /
Image: Apple CEO Tim Cook
Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook dismissed as "total political crap" the notion that the tech giant was avoiding paying U.S. taxes. Reuters

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Apple CEO Tim Cook had some harsh words for his critics in an interview with Charlie Rose set to air Sunday on the CBS program "60 Minutes."

The idea that Apple has been avoiding taxes on overseas profits is "political crap," Cook told Rose.

"We pay more taxes in this country than anyone," Cook said in a clip from CBS News. "We happily pay it."

The tech giant has been subject to European Union tax probes on low-tax arrangements — or "sweetheart deals" as they're known — in Europe, and has continued to invest in creating jobs in Ireland.

Former U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., in 2013 accused Apple of shifting "billions of dollars in profits offshore" that should be subject to U.S. taxes.

More from CNBC: Tax trouble brews for Starbucks, Apple as Europe takes aim at taxes

Cook told Rose that bringing that money to the U.S. would cost him 40 percent — making the move unreasonable.

"This is a tax code, Charlie, that was made for the industrial age, not the digital age," Cook said. "It's backwards. It's awful for America. It should have been fixed many years ago — it's past time to get it done."

Related: Apple CEO Tim Cook Says We Need More Computer, Coding Education

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