Tag Archives: corporate interests

Corporate Cayman Islands tax shelters rip off U.S. taxpayers

*”Corporations are people, my friend.”
–Mitt Romney, August 11, 2011

Statistic of the day: A single five-story office building is the registered address of more than 18,000 companies.

How is that possible? Well, the building is in the tax haven of the Cayman Islands, and most of those businesses are registered there only for tax purposes.

As Citizens for Tax Justice and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund explained in a report earlier this year, more than 70% of the Fortune 500 had subsidiaries in tax havens in 2013. The report estimates that multinationals are using these subsidiaries to avoid approximately $90 billion in federal income taxes annually.

US companies reported $129 billion in earnings in the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, and the British Virgin Islands in 2010. “Assuming you believe those figures, the productivity of workers in those countries is amazing,” Floyd Norris, his tongue almost bursting out of his cheek, wrote in The New York Times. “On average, United States companies had profits of $873,611 per person living in those islands.”

Such ridiculous numbers are merely a product of the process by which multinationals can–legally–reduce their U.S. taxes. Currently there is no significant movement on Capitol Hill to close any of the loopholes or change the laws that make these moves possible.

Why do taxpayers think the tax code is rigged in favor of large corporations? Maybe because it is.

Multinationals seek tax heavens, er, havens . . . oh, what’s the diff?

More and more U.S.-based corporations are growing wings and flying away from their U.S. tax obligations. Bloomberg puts it as simply as possible: “U.S. companies looking for lower tax bills are heading for the exits, and Congress is doing nothing to stop them.” The immediate impetus for the story was Pfizer’s proposed purchase of AstraZeneca,…Continue Reading

Delta Airlines pays zero tax on $2.7 billion in earnings in 2013

When people have a bad financial year, they generally don’t get any tax benefit. But when corporations lose money, the losses don’t disappear. For tax purposes, they are carried forward to future years, and can result in companies making billions but still owing nothing. Case in point: Delta Airlines, which, as Bloomberg Business Week explains,…Continue Reading

For privileged corporations, paying state taxes is increasingly becoming a thing of the past

States regularly offer tax incentives (or, depending on your point of view, corporate welfare) to major corporations in exchange for promises of expansion, corporate relocation, retention of old jobs, creation of new jobs, and anything else with the word ‘jobs’ in the sentence. If you think about it, it’s an almost mindless rush to the…Continue Reading

Apple avoids billions in taxes, and it all looks legal; those guys really are smart

Lawmakers are using words like “gimmicks” and “schemes” to describe how Apple Corporation has used a web of subsidiaries spanning the globe to avoid taxes. There are hearings this week at which Congressmen are expected to say they are shocked, shocked, to hear of tax loopholes being exploited. As The New York Times reported, Congressional…Continue Reading

Corporations say DOMA is a big tax hassle

I always say that everything’s about taxes. The current legal wrangling about gay marriage proves it once again. More than 200 companies have signed onto a brief filed with the Supreme Court saying that the Defense of Marriage Act has become an administrative hassle, forces them to discriminate against different classes of married employees, and…Continue Reading

Tax pandering season in high gear

The tax pandering season got into high gear with both President Obama and Presumptive-Nominee-In-His-Own-Mind Mitt Romney coming out with tax reform proposals on Wednesday. As The Washington Post points out, Romney would cut all individual income tax rates by 20%. But beware! Here’s Joe the Tax Guy’s Rule Of Across-the-Board Tax Cuts: Across-the-board cuts favor…Continue Reading

Health insurance: the sand in the gears of the American economy

One bit of good news on the health insurance front: Despite some trial balloon suggestions, health insurance premiums in 2011 will continue to be tax-deductible for all self-employed professionals. That’s the good news. The bad news is, the system of actually getting health insurance is still an unholy mess. And the system forces people into…Continue Reading

Is this the best the Republicans can do?

Rick Santorum said at the first Republican presidential debate that he would “let the wealth really trickle down” as President. Alright! Someone who’s going to get at all that wealth sloshing around in big money pools up on gold-topped hills!! How’s he gonna do it? By cutting taxes on corporations. Oh. Never mind. Instead of…Continue Reading