But Apple makes clear that Jobs was directly involved in some instances of backdating.The investigation "found that CEO Steve Jobs was aware or recommended the selection of some favorable grant dates." The committee hastens to add that Jobs "did not receive or financially benefit from these grants or appreciate the accounting implications." In other words, he didn't recommend backdating his own option grants.While many in the GOP continue to insist a bill get through by year-end, most speculate legislation won't reach the president's desk until 2018."In a world where you've got a finite number of dollars you can dedicate to tax reform, if you have one year on the front end that's completely unpaid for, it ends up consuming a disproportionate amount of total resources available," he said."If the answer is no, there's no real reliance there, then in some sense, you're just subsidizing companies for activities they otherwise would have engaged in." Instead of backdating corporate tax cuts, the GOP could instead opt to render individual reforms retroactive.
Apple has essentially blamed former chief financial officer Fred Anderson and former general counsel and board secretary Nancy Heinen, both of whom are no longer with the company.There are cases where Congress has done it in the past, such as retroactively extending research and development credits.The assumption there has been that companies have been making decisions under certain expectations. "You can question whether some of these provisions, whether companies really have reliance they're going to be done and made business decisions based on the promise of them being done," Traub said.What revenue-raisers might be included, or whether the bill will be budget-neutral, remains to be seen.It is not clear from Mnuchin's comments whether the administration is considering making all aspects of the eventual tax reform bill retroactive or just parts of it, or which groups it would target.