Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has said “criticism of Apple’s tax policies is extremely warranted” and that he believes corporations should be taxed on income rather than profit, as individuals are.
He said that “for a corporation, there’s no such thing as personal ethics”.
Wozniak caveated his belief that condemnation of Apple’s tax policies is justified by saying “my explanation is rather long and difficult”.
In an interview with Sky News, he explained: “Apple itself, you’d think, would say, ‘My gosh, there’s systems. We have to go for the way we can maximise our profits.
“For example, I know some people who are, like, lawyers. They work in California, but they pretend, they make it seem like they work in Nevada, so they can avoid the high state income tax.
“That’s ethically wrong. On a personal level we always know when it’s wrong.
“For a corporation, there’s no such thing as personal ethics. It’s like you will do anything, any scheme you can, to maximise your profits.”
Wozniak has earlier addressed a conference in Northern Ireland, saying: “People are not taxed on profit; they are taxed on income. Corporations should be taxed the same as people, in my mind that is how it should be, that would make things fair and right.
“That means corporations pay taxes on all of their revenues or people only pay it on a tiny amount called profit and until we rectify that, the whole problem is just with us forever.
“That is why the rich get richer and the poor get poorer and I am always for the individual being much more important than their training; same reason I created the Apple computer at the start, it was to empower the little guy.”
Wozniak co-founded Apple with Jobs in the late 1970s, and let the company in 1987.