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There's a Painfully Obvious Reason Why Apple Is Borrowing Money When It Already Has Billions in Cash

Apple CEO unveiled iOS 7 at Apple's 2013 World Wide Developer's Conference.

Need evidence that tax codes are wonky?

Look no further than one of the world's leading tech companies.

Apple is raising $6.5 billion by selling bonds, the fourth time it's borrowed funds with a bond sale since 2013, Bloomberg reported Monday.

The company is borrowing money despite the fact that it has some $178 billion in cash.

The reason: taxes.

Customers take photos while waiting on line to purchase the Apple iPhone 5 outside the Apple Fifth Avenue flagship store on the first morning it went on sale on September 21, 2012 in New York City. Customers lined up for days to purchase the hotly anticipated device which went on sale nationwide today.   (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images) Apple has borrowed billions of dollars rather than face U.S. corporate tax rates on money it already has overseas. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

As Business Insider noted, Apple holds most of its cash offshore, out of Uncle Sam's taxing reach, and likely won't bring the money stateside so long as it would face tax rates up to 35 percent.

A tax repatriation holiday — like the one proposed by Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) that would tax incoming cash at a mere 6.5 percent — could help induce Apple to bring its cash back to the U.S.

But until such a holiday happens — and the prospects for the Boxer-Paul bill aren't great — Apple likely will keep borrowing to fund its U.S. activities.

That's right: It makes more financial sense for Apple to borrow new money and pay interest on the loans than it does to pay corporate taxes on money it already has.

Since April 2013, Bloomberg noted, Apple has issued $39 billion in corporate bonds, kicked off with a record-setting $17 billion bond sale.

Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter

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