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Big-league tax dodging
Author: Robbie Silverman, Oxfam, Published on: 12 April 2017
The US’s top 50 public corporations have $1.6 trillion stashed offshore, and current tax reform proposals by President Trump and Congressional leadership will only make the problem worse...In a new report called “Rigged Reform” Oxfam used corporate financial, lobbying, and investor disclosures to reveal that the 50 largest US companies used an opaque and secretive network of at least 1,751 subsidiaries in tax havens to avoid paying their fair share of taxes...The report...reveals that since 2009, these 50 companies alone have spent $2.5 billion in federal lobbying—almost $50 million for every member of Congress. Regardless of whether Congress passes tax reform, multinational companies have a responsibility to push for a more equitable and fair tax system. Doubling down on secrecy and complex artificial tax structures has real costs for companies. Apple, Facebook, Pfizer, McDonald’s, Amazon, and Starbucks are just a few of the companies that come under intense regulatory and reputational scrutiny—with multi-billion dollar consequences. More transparency—on both tax and lobbying—is a necessary first step...Finally, companies should advocate for a fairer, more equitable tax system by using their influence with public policymakers and other companies to oppose proposed tax reforms that would widen inequality...