Depends on whether said funds have already been taxed overseas. If you operated a business, sold goods in Europe, and dutifully paid taxes on said goods to European governments, would you want to have the U.S. government double-dip and levy even more taxes on what you earned overseas? Or would you leave the already-taxed money overseas and use it to continue funding your overseas operations?
If you sell a product in Germany and pay taxes to the German government, are you evading taxes because you don’t want the U.S. government to double-dip and also charge taxes?
The late Steve Jobs floated the idea of a ‘tax holiday’ so Apple could repatriate funds at a lower tax rate. Apple’s willing to get double-dinged by the U.S. government to some extent – I believe the current rates on getting double-dinged are seen as rather steep given that they’ve already paid taxes to overseas governments.
But they have paid taxes overseas on the profit generated overseas. Granted, in many cases the tax rates are more favorable overseas. But I can understand these companies for not wanting to pay taxes in Europe and in the States on the same money.
And Apple has stated its willingness to repatriate at a lowered tax rate, should a ‘tax holiday’ be provided – they’re willing to get double-dinged to some extent, just not get double-dinged badly.
I wonder if a compromise could be struck. Many companies, Apple included, have asked for a tax holiday so they can repatriate some of the funds at a lower tax rate. (So they’re willing to pay some taxes to repatriate – they’re not asking for zero taxes.)
In many cases, the funds sitting overseas have already been taxed in the countries where they were generated. These companies don’t want to get double-dinged – or at least, not get double-dinged badly.