All companies, including Apple Inc., should pay more taxes, the tech giant's co-founder Steve Wozniak said Friday. Apple has come under the scrutiny of U.S. and European regulators over its alleged use of tax shelters in Luxembourg and Ireland to protect its revenues.
Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, Wozniak, who left the company in 1985, said he doesn't like the idea that Apple does not pay taxes at the same rate he does personally.
"I do a lot of work, I do a lot of travel and I pay over 50 percent of anything I make in taxes and I believe that's part of life and you should do it," he said.
When asked if Apple should pay that amount, he replied: "Every company in the world should." Wozniak, widely known as Woz, founded Apple along with Steve Jobs and Ronald Wayne some 40 years ago.
An April report by global anti-poverty charity, Oxfam, said that U.S. corporates such as Apple, Walmart and General Electric have stashed $1.4 trillion in tax havens. The report comes amid renewed focus on taxation regimes, following the leak of Panama Papers.
The Oxfam report titled “Broken at the Top” showed that Apple occupied the top spot in terms of money held offshore, with some $181 billion held offshore in three subsidiaries.
The iPhone maker channels much of its business in Europe through its official global headquarters in Cork, a provincial town in southern Ireland, which has a corporation tax rate of 12.5 percent compared to the U.K.'s 20 percent.
Apple also faces pressure from U.S. authorities for hoarding about $215 billion in cash, most of which is held outside America, as the company would face a 40 percent tax if it tried to repatriate it.
In recent interview, the company’s CEO Tim Cook lashed out at politicians, and said that the notion Apple was avoiding paying taxes was “political crap.”
“Apple pays every tax dollar we owe,” he added, in the interview with CBS's "60 Minutes."