Press

A Conversation With Ecuador’s Foreign Minister on Tax Avoidance

Tax Avoidance, Illicit Financial Flows, and Global Development: A Call for a United Nations Tax Body

Thursday, January 12, 2016

Join the FACT Coalition and several other groups for a conversation with Foreign Minister Guilluame Long of Ecuador—as they take over the presidency of the G77 + China group of 134 developing nations—to discuss tax avoidance, illicit financial flows, and calls for a United Nations tax body.

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Just the FACTs: December 22, 2016

2016 is coming to an end.  This year has certainly been an eventful one—we have witnessed  several document leaks revealing the closely guarded secrets of the offshore world, and a divisive election where the issue of tax avoidance and offshore loopholes were highlighted by both campaigns.

In April, the Panama Papers gave us 14.5 million documents exposing the offshore dealings of the ultra-wealthy, transnational criminals, multinational companies, and even world leaders.  One question often asked when the documents were released “where are the Americans?” the answer simply is that Americans don’t need to go abroad to set up anonymous shell companies.  It is, unfortunately, much easier for Americans to set them up onshore—in states like Nevada, Wyoming, and Delaware.

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Just the FACTs: December 9, 2016

For more than a decade we have seen a steep climb in the amount of money kept offshore by multinational companies.  This has resulted in $2.5 Trillion to remain untaxed—at an estimated cost of $700 billion to the US Treasury.  Throughout the 2016 election, both presidential candidates pledged to close loopholes that allow corporations to dodge taxes and stop companies from booking their profits overseas.  Though the follow-through has yet to be seen.  Many have even argued that Donald Trump’s victory was the result of a frustrated middle class that increasingly feels over-burdened, while they see the wealthy and corporations—following their own set of rules—shifting their responsibilities onto them.

A new report from U.S. PIRG Education Fund finds that multinational companies dodge an estimated $147 billion in federal and state taxes annually through offshore tax haven loopholes, shifting that burden instead onto small businesses and individual taxpayers.  Titled “Picking Up the Tab 2016: Small Businesses Bear the Burden for Offshore Tax Havens,” the study estimates that each small business, on average, owes $5,186 more on its annual tax bill to collectively make up for the federal and state corporate tax revenue lost to offshore tax havens.

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Study Highlights How Rigged Tax Code Hurts Small Business, Middle Class Americans

Multinational Companies Dodging $147 Billion Annually in State and Federal Taxes through Offshore Tax Schemes

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A new report from U.S. PIRG Education Fund finds that multinational companies dodge an estimated $147 billion in federal and state taxes annually through offshore tax haven loopholes.  The report explains the staggering cost to small businesses and individual taxpayers, who are forced to shoulder the increased tax burden.

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Just the FACTs: November 28, 2016

Increasingly the issues of tax avoidance and financial secrecy are drawing the attention of a broader audience.  Both issues were repeatedly mentioned throughout the presidential election by both candidates.  Donald Trump’s original tax plan even went as far as to end deferral, though updates to the plan in September omitted any position on it.  With the results of the election in, FACT and our members are analyzing what they mean for reform here at home.  More on that in the weeks to come.

The EU commission’s decision in August to force Apple to pay back $14 billion in dodged taxes to Ireland served as a wake-up call to many investors—tax avoidance is a serious risk.  A recent article in the Financial Times, explained how several major funds and investment groups are deeply concerned with companies’ increasing reliance on tax avoidance schemes.  One such fund, Nordea Asset Management—has written to a number of companies—including Alphabet and Apple.  In the letter, they ask that companies lay out their tax risks and that—if they don’t comply by January—they “will rally other investors and propose shareholder resolutions in 2017.”  Four other fund houses in the UK—representing almost £1tn of assets—have also written to the board of Alphabet to raise concerns about its tax arrangements.

 

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Just the FACTs: October 18, 2016

There’s been a lot of talk recently about how the tax system is rigged.  More and more we are seeing that wealthy individuals and powerful multinational companies are able to play by their own set of rules.  According to a new report by FACT members Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ), the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), and U.S. PIRG, Fortune 500 companies are now holding $2.5 trillion offshore. By shifting their profits to tax havens, these U.S. companies have been able to avoid $718 billion in taxes. The legal loopholes that allow these companies to avoid their taxes are simply unavailable to average taxpayers and small businesses, who can’t afford to hire the lawyers and accountants to move money through shell companies created in tax havens.

The U.S. Treasury Department took a modest step toward countering corporate tax avoidance Thursday night by issuing a new rule aimed at preventing a tax dodging technique known as “earnings stripping.” While FACT members are still in the process of reviewing the 518-page measure, the rule is estimated to close about $600 million per year in offshore tax avoidance loopholes.

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Tax Notes Op-Ed: What Apple Teaches About How Not to Reform Corporate Taxes

By Gary Kalman

In this article—originally published in Tax Notes—FACT Executive Director Gary Kalman uses the recent Apple tax ruling by the European Commission to identify problems with proposals for a territorial tax system in the United States. He argues that policymakers should instead focus on ending deferral, requiring public country-by-country reporting, and adopting provisions of the Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act.

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New Report: Multinationals Dodging $718bn in U.S. Taxes on Profits Booked Offshore

New Analysis Underscores Need to End Deferral, Boost Transparency of Companies’ Offshore Tax Practices

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The largest American companies have stashed nearly $2.5 trillion in profits offshore allowing them to dodge $718 billion in U.S. taxes, according to a new report released Tuesday by Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ), the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) Education Fund—all members of the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency Coalition (FACT Coalition).

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Groups Push Accounting Body on Multinational Tax Transparency

Broad Alliance Calls for Accounting Standards to Require Country-by-Country Tax Reporting in Comment Letter

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A broad alliance of organizations and coalitions submitted comments to the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) today—urging the body to require multinational companies to be more transparent about their tax practices.  FASB, the private body which sets financial accounting and reporting standards in the United States, has suggested a number of changes to increase the disclosure of foreign tax and income information by companies in their public filings.

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