Billions of dollars for public services lost due to tax dodging by US companies, says Oxfam

Rigged Reform credit: Oxfam

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Article
12 April 2017

Big-league tax dodging

Author: Robbie Silverman, Oxfam

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...

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Article
12 April 2017

Donald Trump’s tax holiday 'would help top US companies save $300bn'

Author: Rupert Neate, Guardian (UK)

Donald Trump’s plan to encourage US companies to repatriate profits held offshore will allow the 50 biggest American corporations to save at least $300bn (£240bn), according to research by Oxfam.  The US president has promised that he will get America’s biggest companies to bring their vast offshore cash piles back to US soil by offering a one-off tax holiday.  The plan is to tax repatriated money at 10% rather than at the statutory rate of 35%.  America’s 50 biggest companies had combined offshore cash piles of more than $1.6tn in 2015, according to Oxfam’s research...Trump’s proposed tax holiday would be a big boost for US technology companies which make a lot of money overseas and often park the profits in low-tax jurisdictions, such as Ireland...Oxfam’s research suggested that Apple would save $43.5bn in tax by taking advantage of Trump’s one-off 10% repatriation tax...Ana Arendar, Oxfam’s head of inequality, said: “These companies have deepened their use of tax havens and increased efforts to build influence to push for even greater tax breaks than they already have. Corporate tax dodgers cheat the US out of approximately $135bn in unpaid tax revenues every year and poor countries out of an estimated $100bn annually.”...

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Article
12 April 2017

Rigged reform

Author: Oxfam American

The extreme gap between rich and poor is helping reshape US politics in unpredictable ways...A new analysis by Oxfam of the 50 largest public US companies shows that this task is harder than ever.  Tax dodging by multinational corporations costs the US approximately $135 billion each year.  But these schemes do not just harm the US.  The same tactics corporations use to dodge US taxes sap an estimated $100 billion every year from poor countries, preventing crucial investments in schools, hospitals, roads, and other tools to reduce poverty.  The harm done to Americans and people living in poor countries by corporate tax dodging are two sides of the same coin...A fair and effective tax system is the lifeblood of an efficient and well-functioning government.  It allows society to pay for basic services like schools, hospitals, roads, first responders, social safety nets and other vital public services that can address poverty and ensure a thriving business climate.  In developing countries, where there is an immense need to provide basic health and education for the hundreds of millions of people who still live in extreme poverty and lack affordable access even to primary schooling or preventative vaccines, revenues from taxes provide the most sustainable way to pay for teachers, doctors and police officers...

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Article
12 April 2017

The US Tax System is Rigged

Author: Oxfam

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