There's $620B in Taxes the US Can't Get Its Hands On
Just 30 companies have offshore holdings totaling $1.4T
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 7, 2015 1:32 PM CDT
Apple CEO Tim Cook testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, May 21, 2013, as lawmakers examine the methods employed by multinational corporations to shift profits offshore.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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(Newser) – Apple has skipped out on paying close to $60 billion in taxes on $181 billion it holds offshore, according to a new study. But though the company holds the most profits offshore of any US company, it's hardly alone: At least 358 American companies hold $2.1 trillion in profits, which would be subject to a 35% corporate tax rate if the funds were to reach the US, according to the review by two left-leaning nonprofits, per Reuters. That means $620 billion could be collected by feds—enough money to eliminate the federal deficit, notes CNBC. Instead, companies move assets to places like Bermuda and the Cayman Islands, where they pay about 6% in taxes. The report finds 60% of companies with tax subsidiaries had at least one in either country, though the Netherlands had the highest number of subsidiaries.

Think $620 billion in potential tax gains is high? The actual number is likely much higher. The report notes just 57 companies disclosed how much they would owe if they transferred their offshore holdings back home. As "nearly 72% of the Fortune 500 operate subsidiaries in tax haven jurisdictions as of the end of 2014 … Congress can and should take strong action to prevent corporations from using offshore tax havens, which in turn would restore basic fairness to the tax system, reduce the deficit, and improve the functioning of markets," the study from Citizens for Tax Justice and the US Public Interest Research Group Education Fund found. Just 30 companies account for $1.4 trillion in offshore profits. General Electric was found to hold $119 billion in 18 tax havens, Microsoft has $108.3 billion in five, and Pfizer has $74 billion in 151.
 

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