Portfolio Project- Accounting for Income Taxes at Apple, Inc.

Option #2: Accounting for Income Taxes at Apple, Inc.

Read the following Case Study:

Hopkins, J. J. (2017). Accounting for income taxes at Apple Inc. Harvard Business Publishing.

Review Apple’s financial statements included in the Case Study, including Note 5 (Exhibit 1), and answer the following questions related to permanently reinvested earnings:

  • How much cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities do Apple shareholders really own, net of the IRS claims on this cash? In other words, if Apple liquidated these investments at the value on the balance sheet, repatriated the cash, and paid a one-time dividend, how much would shareholders receive? (Hint: Assume that all the income that Apple has earned in foreign subsidiaries has been converted into cash or investments. Also, when Apple says, “U.S. income taxes have not been provided,” it is not referring to the payment of taxes, but to the recognition of taxes from a financial reporting perspective.)
  • What effect would this transaction from Question 1 have on Apple’s reported earnings? Would it differ between the US GAAP and IFRS?
  • Alternatively, instead of distributing a dividend, Apple chose to reinvest the foreign earnings by purchasing a company domiciled outside of the United States. How much cash (net of taxes) would Apple have at its disposal for such a purpose?
  • What effect would the transaction in Question 3 have on reported earnings? Would it differ between the US GAAP and IFRS?
  • Finally, assume that Congress designated a repatriation tax holiday and allowed U.S. corporations to repatriate foreign cash without paying any U.S. income taxes on them. How would this affect Apple’s net income if it repatriated all its foreign-based cash?

Questions related to Apple’s balance sheet:

  • How much in deferred tax assets/liabilities are on Apple’s balance sheet as of 2015 and where do they appear? What is the single-largest component of these deferred taxes and from what does it result?
  • What valuation allowance did Apple record in 2015? What does this imply about Apple’s future? Would the valuation allowance differ between the US GAAP and IFRS? Explain in detail why or why not.

Questions related to Apple’s income statement:

  • If Apple paid income taxes in the US at the statutory corporate income tax rate, how much would Apple owe in U.S. income taxes in 2015? How much did Apple pay to the U.S. government in income taxes during 2015? Why are these amounts different? Hint: refer back to the module where we discussed international taxation during this course.
  • Does Apple have any uncertain tax positions? What do they imply, and what effect do these uncertain tax positions have on current income tax expense? Does the accounting for uncertain income tax positions differ between the US GAAP and IFRS? Be specific.
  • What amount of current income tax expense did Apple record in 2015? How much cash did Apple pay in taxes in 2015? Why are these amounts different?

Other questions related to Apple:

  • Expand in some level of detail what types of accounting-related cultural issues Apple might face when operating in different countries around the world, especially with regards to the combination of local country statutory financial statement and related reporting requirements compared to the US GAAP reporting requirements.
  • Apple is obviously dealing with huge amounts of investments and cash, a large amount of which is located overseas and most likely invested in foreign currencies. Based upon what you have learned in this course, what are some of the foreign-currency management techniques Apple is most likely practicing in the management of these investments and cash sitting in bank and investment accounts across the globe? Be specific.
  • Your Word document should be 8 pages in length (not including the required cover and references pages). Submissions in excess of 10 pages are permitted.
  • Format your submission according to the APA
  • You may submit an Excel file as a separate file supporting your submission. If you include Exhibits as part of your Word document supporting any quantitative calculations, include them as part of your submission.
  • Be sure to discuss and reference concepts taken from the required and recommended readings throughout the course and also your own relevant research.
  • You must include a minimum of six credible, academic, or professional references beyond the course text, required and recommended readings, or other course materials as part of your submission.
  • Review the grading rubric attached
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