Facebook Shareholders to Vote on Responsible Tax Principles

Tax Experts Travel to California to Present Proposal following November’s Paradise Papers Exposé

SAN FRANCISCO, California / WASHINGTON, D.C. — Facebook investors will vote Thursday on a proposal to require the company’s board to adopt responsible tax principles following the release of November’s Paradise Papers exposé, which exposed the structures behind massive tax dodging schemes of well-known multinational companies, including Apple, Facebook, and Nike.

The Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency (FACT) Coalition and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) worked with the AFL-CIO Office of Investments to file a resolution with Facebook calling on the company to “respond to rising public pressure to limit offshore tax avoidance strategies by adopting and disclosing to shareholders a set of principles to guide Facebook’s tax practices.”

The resolution is proposal eight, appearing on page 58 of the proxy statement.

Gary Kalman, the executive director of the FACT Coalition, and Richard Phillips, a senior policy analyst at ITEP who serves as the Tax Policy Chair of the FACT Coalition, are in Northern California this week to present the resolution on behalf of the AFL-CIO.

“It’s estimated that offshore profit shifting costs U.S. taxpayers over $100 billion per year in lost federal revenue — and even more if you add in the loss to state revenue,” said Mr. Phillips. “When multinational corporations like Facebook game the system to avoid paying their taxes, it’s middle class Americans and wholly domestic businesses that are forced to pick up the tab in the form of higher taxes, increased debt, or cuts to services they use. And, when multinationals like Facebook dodge taxes abroad, they contribute to destabilizing the very economies they rely on to buy their products.”

“Even Facebook has acknowledged that their behavior is untenable — announcing after the Paradise Papers leak that they would no longer book all of their foreign profits in Ireland,” said Mr. Kalman. “However, the recent U.S. tax overhaul increased incentives for multinational companies like Facebook to shift their profits to tax havens. Worse, it will eliminate what little transparency investors and the public previously had to gauge risky offshore tax planning. Requiring the board to adopt a set of responsible tax principles is a sensible step to reestablish the relationship between sustainable business practices and taxation.”

To schedule interviews with Mr. Kalman and/or Mr. Phillips, contact Clark Gascoigne at cgascoigne@nullthefactcoalition.org or +1 202 810 1334.

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Notes to Editors:

  • Click here for an online version of this media advisory.
  • Facebook’s 2018 annual shareholder meeting is scheduled to take place Thursday, May 31, 2018 at the Hotel Nia in Menlo Park, California at 11am PDT (2pm EDT).

Journalist Contact:

Clark Gascoigne
Deputy Director, The FACT Coalition
+1 202 810-1334
cgascoigne@nullthefactcoalition.org