In most areas of life, the mention of a tech company tends to mean several things. Facebook and Twitter represent social media, Apple means iPhones and Microsoft means Window and work. The allusions are simple and pleasant; turn the conversation to taxes, however, and things take a sour turn.
Tech giants across the globe have become notorious for effectively refusing to pay ‘normal’ levels of tax, a strategy that has to this point managed to collectively save them a great deal of money. With public opinion now firmly turning against this kind of behavior, things are beginning to change, such as Microsoft agreeing to foot a $57 million tax bill from the state of Washington, spread out across the next two years.
According to the Seattle Times, this comes following the addition of a clause in the recent state budget, which has not yet been publicly contested by Microsoft, that seemed to specifically target the tech giant. It removes a “software machinery & equipment sales tax exemption” that was previously claimed. With a revenue in excess of $90 billion annually, and with cash reserves roughly equaling that, this is barely even pocket change for the firm.
Do you think more companies ought to be open about their tax dealings?