If Apple, Microsoft and Alphabet had their way, they’d bring back some of the tens of billions of dollars they have stuck overseas without taking a huge tax hit. The outcome of November’s election could determine whether they get their wish.
With an estimated $2.5 trillion in company coffers parked offshore—much of it held by big tech firms—pressure is building from both Democrats and Republicans for tax code changes that would allow foreign-held cash repatriated without a massive tax bill. A plan put forth last year in the Senate was supported by Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York. Sen. Schumer’s involvement, in particular, gives tax watchers some hope that a bill could pick up enough Democratic votes to pass the 60-vote threshold effectively needed to pass. In the House of Representatives, Republicans have put forth a more general tax plan that includes several similar ideas.