Tax

Tax Avoiding Companies Well-Represented at Tax Reform Hearing

By Richard Phillips

Today the House Ways and Means Committee will hold its first tax reform hearing of 2017, which marks the official opening of the tax reform debate in Congress. True tax reform, if the committee sought to achieve it, could create more jobs and ensure companies are paying their fair share by cracking down on the massive offshore tax avoidance that companies engage in. Unfortunately, the panel of witnesses for today’s hearing is largely made up of representatives of various major corporations that are beneficiaries of the loopholes in our current corporate tax laws. Given this, it seems likely that these panelists will not push for a fairer corporate tax code, but rather a code that allows them to avoid even more taxes and incentivizes moving more jobs offshore.

The biggest tax avoider represented at the hearing is AT&T, which received $38 billion in tax breaks over the past eight years, meaning that it received more tax breaks than any other Fortune 500 company during that time. Over the past 10 years, the company managed to pay an average federal income tax rate of just 11.3 percent, less than a third of the statutory rate of 35 percent. In 2011, it managed to pay nothing in federal income taxes, despite earning $12 billion in profits.

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Tax Plan Would Accelerate Offshore Tax Dodging

Statement by FACT Coalition on White House’s Tax Reform Outline

The Administration released an outline today of its plan to reform the corporate tax code.  The signature reform is a reduction of the corporate tax rate from 35% to 15%.

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Briefing Memo: FATCA

Questions & Answers about the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA)

FATCA is the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, which was adopted in 2010 to help pay for the HIRE (Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment) Act. FATCA requires foreign financial institutions (FFIs) to determine if accounts they have opened are held, directly or indirectly, by Americans and, if so, disclose them to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Any FFI that refuses to provide this information to the United States is subject to a 30% withholding tax on the FFI’s U.S. source income.

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FACT Sheet: Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA)

Every year, your employer, bank, the Social Security Administration, and anyone holding or investing your savings, sends you and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) information about your accounts. This is a long-standing U.S. practice that combines patriotism and accountability and has created a culture of tax compliance.

However, for U.S. citizens living abroad and wealthy individuals with accounts in foreign banks, there was little accountability. While most Americans with foreign bank accounts paid the taxes they owed, some did not. For those, FATCA was passed.

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On Tax Day, Tax Haven Lobby Advocating for Tax Cheats

Congress Should Reject Tax Haven Lobby’s Push to Repeal FATCA Transparency Measure

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As millions of Americans head to the post office today — this year’s deadline for filing individual tax returns — there is a stepped-up effort to make it easier for some to illegally evade paying their taxes.

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Big-League Tax Dodging

By Robbie Silverman

The U.S.’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.

This week, millions of Americans are filing their tax returns and mailing Uncle Sam a check.   At the same time, the 50 biggest public companies in the U.S., including Pfizer, Goldman Sachs, GE, Chevron, Walmart, and Apple, are avoiding taxes while their huge pile of offshore cash grows.

In a new report called “Rigged Reform” Oxfam used corporate financial, lobbying, and investor disclosures to reveal that the 50 largest U.S. companies used an opaque and secretive network of at least 1,751 subsidiaries in tax havens to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.

Resisting calls to “drain the swamp,” these companies sink deep in the DC muck and mire—with eye-popping results.  The report, which updates Oxfam’s analysis from our “Broken at the Top” report last year, reveals that since 2009, these 50 companies alone have spent $2.5 billion in federal lobbying—almost $50 million for every member of Congress.  Oxfam estimates that for every $1 these companies spent lobbying on tax issues, they received an estimated $1,200 in tax breaks.

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