- - Sunday, April 29, 2012

NEW YORK — A published report says Apple Inc. uses subsidiaries in Ireland, the Netherlands and other low-tax nations as part of a strategy that enables the technology giant to cut its global tax bill by billions of dollars every year.

The New York Times on Sunday outlined legal methods used by Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple to avoid paying billions of dollars in federal and state taxes.

One approach highlighted in the report: Even though the company is based in California, Apple has set up a small office in Reno, Nev., to collect and invest its profits. The corporate tax rate in Nevada is zero. In California, it’s 8.84 percent.

While many major corporations try to reduce their tax bills, technology companies such as Apple, Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp. have more options to do so.

That’s because some of their revenue comes from digital products or royalties on patents, which makes it easier for them to move profits to tax-friendly states or countries, the Times said.

In contrast, it’s tougher to shift the collection of profits from the sale of a physical product - such as groceries or a car - to a tax-friendly haven.

The 71 technology companies in the S&P 500, including Apple, Google, Yahoo Inc. and Dell Inc., reported paying global cash taxes over the past two years at a rate that’s, on average, one-third less than other S&P 500 companies, the Times said.

Apple has legally allocated about 70 percent of its profits overseas, where tax rates are often much lower than in the U.S., according to company filings.

IDAHO

Ski goggle pioneer Smith dies at 78

KETCHUM — Robert Earl “Bob” Smith, an orthodontist whose passion for skiing deep powder snow helped turn him into a goggle and sunglasses pioneer, has died of complications related to heart surgery.

Smith’s family confirmed his April 18 death in California. He was 78.

Born in San Carlos, Calif., Mr. Smith went on to graduate from Stanford University and the San Francisco College of Dentistry.

Smith served as a dentist in the U.S. Army in Germany in the late 1950s. While there, he traveled to Kitzbuehel ski area every weekend, stoking his passion for the sport.

After enduring frustrating goggle-fogging experiences while skiing in Utah, Smith in the 1960s began developing prototypes for an advanced pair of goggles to solve the problem. Smith sat at the kitchen table with his wife, Jean, using dental tools and foam to create a double-lensed, vented ski goggle with an inner lens that was protected from the cold.

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