Tim Cook made a compelling case that he is acting in Apple shareholders' interests by keeping billions of dollars in cash overseas, out of the hands of the U.S. tax collectors, industry insiders told CNBC on Monday.
"There's this natural tension, whereas the CEO of a publicly traded company's got a fiduciary responsibility to ensure that revenues and profits are recognized in the most tax-efficient way possible," said Jon Brod, co-founder and president of the encrypted messaging platform Confide.
As of late September, Apple reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission that $186.9 billion of cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities was held by foreign subsidiaries.
Asked by CBS "60 Minutes" interviewer Charlie Rose about regulators' conclusion that "Apple is engaged in a sophisticated scheme to pay little or no corporate taxes" on billions in off-shore revenue, the Apple CEO responded bluntly.
"That is total political crap," Cook said in the interview, which aired Sunday night. "There is no truth behind it. Apple pays every tax dollar we owe."