Five of the United States' top tech companies have more than $430 billion in cash combined, according to a new report from Moody's Investors Service.
That's enough to pay every single U.S. citizen roughly $1,347.
The five tech companies with the most cash are Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) with $178 billion, Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) with $90.2 billion, Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG, GOOGL) with $64.4 billion, Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) with $53 billion, and Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) worth $44.7 billion.
The majority of that money is being held overseas so they can avoid the United States' high tax rate.
The federal corporate income tax rate in the United States is about 35%. That's the highest rate among developed economies. But as long as these companies don't bring this money back to the U.S. and reinvest it, they don't have to pay that high U.S. tax rate.
This is why Ireland is one of the most popular locations for U.S. companies to store their cash – its corporate tax rate is just 12.5%.
Top tech companies don't typically divulge exactly how much they're saving in taxes, but in 2013 Microsoft did note that it saved almost $30 billion by keeping cash abroad.
Moody's analysts expect top tech companies to continue this tax dodge as they make more money.
"Despite stronger returns of capital to shareholders, we expect the concentration of cash in the technology sector to grind higher over the next year," the report said.
While the U.S. government may be missing out on tax revenue, investors have seen major profits from these tech firms in 2015…
Top Tech Companies' Stocks Far Outpace the Market
In 2015, the tech-centric Nasdaq Composite is up 5.5% compared to a gain of just 1.4% for the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
In the last 12 months, the Nasdaq is up 21%. The Dow is up just 8.1% in that time frame.
"For its part, the Nasdaq is much more of a growth story," Money Morning's Defense and Tech Specialist Michael Robinson said. "It's brimming with younger, more aggressive firms in growth fields like biotech, the mobile revolution, cloud computing, Big Data, and the connected car."
Here's how Robinson recommends readers profit from the top tech companies now…
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