March Madness for Corporate Tax Dodgers

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CommonDreams.org

March Madness for Corporate Tax Dodgers

Top seeds in the Tax Haven Tourney: banks and power companies

The small companies and public didn't have a chance in the early rounds. Now it's down to a few formidable corporate teams, the Cheat 16:

- General Electric made $10.3 billion in 2009, but received a $1.1 billion tax rebate.

- Forbes said about Bank of America in 2010: "How did they not pay any taxes on $4.4 billion in income?"

- Oil giant Exxon made a $45 billion profit in 2009, but paid no taxes in the United States.

- Citigroup had 4 quarters of billion-dollar profits in 2010, but paid no taxes.

- Wells Fargo made $12 billion but purchased Wachovia Bank to claim a $19 billion tax credit.

- Hewlett Packard's U.S. income tax rate was 4.3% in 2008 and 2.3% in 2009.

- Verizon's 10.5% tax rate, according to Forbes, is due to its partnership with Vodafone, the primary target in UK Uncut's protests against tax evaders.

- Chevron's tax rate was 1% in 2008.

- Boeing, which just won a $30 billion contract to build 179 airborne tankers, got $124 million back from the taxpayers in 2010.

- Over the past 5 years Amazon made $3.5 billion and paid taxes at the rate of 4.3%.

- Carnival Cruise Lines paid 1% in taxes on its $11.5 billion profit over the past 5 years.

- Koch Industries is not publicly traded, so their antics are kept private. But they benefit from taxpayer subsidies in ranching and logging.

- In 2008 CorporateWatch said Rupert Murdoch's Newscorp paid "astoundingly low taxes" because of tax havens.

- Google "cut its taxes by $3.1 billion in the last three years by shifting its money around foreign countries.

- Merck, the second-largest drugmaker in the U.S., last year brought more than $9 billion from abroad without paying any U.S. tax.

- Pfizer, the largest drugmaker in the U.S., erased $10 billion in taxes with an "accounting treatment."

All the above has been documented by US Uncut Chicago members on PayUpNow.org .

Who's projected for the Final Frauding Four?

Best Defense: Google uses a game plan called a "Double Irish Defense," which moves most of its foreign profits through Ireland and the Netherlands to Bermuda.

Best Offense: GE's 2010 SEC 10-K tax filing boldly states: "At December 31, 2010, $94 billion of earnings have been indefinitely reinvested outside the United States...we do not intend to repatriate these earnings.."

Most Steals: Citigroup: 427 tax haven subsidiaries

Best Trash talk: A General Electric spokeswoman: “G.E. pays many other taxes including payroll taxes on the wages of our employees, property taxes, sales and use and value added taxes."

Most game-ending bailouts: Bank of America received $45 Billion in tax payer bailout funds in 2008 and 2009. In 2009 the company earned a pretax income of $4.4 billion, but claimed a $1.9 Billion tax benefit from the government.

Teams with the most reserves:
General Electric: $77 billion
Google: $24 billion
That's 2 companies holding $101 billion that could be invested in jobs.

Tax Haven Tourney Champion? GE is the Duke of Tax Avoidance.

Paul Buchheit

Paul Buchheit is a college teacher, an active member of US Uncut Chicago, founder and developer of social justice and educational websites (UsAgainstGreed.org, PayUpNow.org, RappingHistory.org), and the editor and main author of "American Wars: Illusions and Realities" (Clarity Press). He can be reached at paul@UsAgainstGreed.org.

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