Friday, April 15, 2016

The US Tax Cheats

Oxfam America, which is the US arm of the global anti-poverty organization Oxfam, said in a new report on Thursday that 50 top American companies are denying the US administration, and other governments much needed tax income. US corporate giants, such as Apple, General Electric, and Microsoft, which have hidden nearly $1.4 trillion in dozens of offshore tax havens.

The report said the funds stashed by the corporations offshore between 2008 and 2014 show the extent to which tax havens allow firms to avoid taxes. The companies also used more than 1,600 subsidiaries in tax havens to hoard and move money around outside the reach of fiscal authorities, the report pointed out. At the same time, the corporations keep on taking benefits from government support in their home countries, but ordinary people are bearing the cost, it added. "When corporations don't pay their fair share of taxes, governments -- rich and poor -- are forced to cut services or make up the shortfall from working families and small businesses. Neither is acceptable." said Oxfam American President Raymond Offenheiser in a statement. 

"Multinational corporations that benefit from trillions in taxpayer-funded support are dodging billions in taxes," added Offenheiser. "The vast sums large companies stash in tax havens should be fighting poverty and rebuilding America's infrastructure, not hidden offshore in Panama, Bahamas, or the Cayman Islands."  The report pointed out the huge profits that major corporations have reported they are holding offshore, partly because of the high taxes they say they would have to pay for shifting the profits back to the US. For instance, General Electric has $119 billion, Microsoft $108 billion, Pfizer $74 billion, and Google parent Alphabet $47 billion.

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