Rumor has it that Apple is lobbying as part of a consortium of companies, to receive an offshore tax holiday for its cash war chest parked elsewhere in the world, and pay only 5% penalty in the process. Wait, so the money is not here?
No, it isn't. Google, for example, moves its profits out to tax heavens like Ireland or the Caribbean, thus managing to pay only 2.4% overseas tax rate for the last few years. Apple is reportedly doing similar moves, as well as other major companies.
If this money is returned back to the country, and a sort of tax amnesty is announced, the US could see an influx of cash as big as one trillion dollars, in times when the going is tough. There is a great chance this offshore tax heaven arrangement might be on the table at President Obama's meeting with the CEOs today.
source: RedmondPie, Bloomberg & CNN