Four months after the US Senate's Permanent Subcommittee held hearings to look into Apple's off-shore tax practices, the Security and Exchange Commission has ruled that Apple did not violate any laws. As AllThingsD reports:
In a September letter to Apple, released late last week, the SEC said it had completed its review of the company's fiscal 2012 annual report, and would take no action against it at this time. Evidently, there's no need to, as the agency has found Apple's disclosures to be sufficient, particularly now that it has agreed to provide investors with more information about its foreign cash, tax policies and plans for reinvestment of foreign earnings. In the SEC's eyes, Apple accounts for taxes in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.
While the Senate's Permanent Subcommittee hearing found that Apple kept US$74 billion from the IRS between 2009 and 2012 in overseas account, it did so lawfully. The SEC's finding probably did not surprise Tim Cook, who sat down with The Washington Post earlier in the year and said, "I can tell you unequivocally Apple does not funnel its domestic profits overseas. We don't do that. We pay taxes on all the products we sell in the US, and we pay every dollar that we owe. And so I'd like to be really clear on that."
The SEC's report, which was filed last week, means that Apple probably won't be facing any other legal tax scrutiny from the US government.