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Apple's bond plan estimated to save $9.2 billion in taxes

The company is estimated to be saving more than $9 billion in taxes that it would have had to pay to bring its overseas cash to the U.S.

James Martin/CNET

Just how much is Apple's new, six-part,$17 billion bond plan going to end up saving the company in taxes it would have needed to pay if it used its overseas cash pile?

Try $9.2 billion, says a senior vice president at Moody's Investors Service.

Speaking to Bloomberg, Moody's Gerald Granovsky said that's how much Apple's not going to pay in U.S. taxes as it pays out $55 billion of its $100 billion capital returns program.

To put the figure, which was first reported by the Financial Times (subscription required) late Wednesday, in perspective, that's nearly twice Apple's Mac desktops sales during all of 2012, and more than the company earned in profit during all of 2009.

At $17 billion, Apple's bond sale, which was announced last week, is the largest such offering in corporate history. Even though Apple has $145 billion in cash, more than $100 billion of that is held outside the U.S. By issuing bonds, Apple will have money to use without getting hit with what's currently a 35 percent corporate tax rate.

Apple still has to pay interest on its bonds, Granovsky notes, but that works out to less $310 million a year, and it will shrink after some tax deductions.