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Offshore Tax Havens

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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:30pm
Fri Nov 4, 2016

U.S. Multinational Companies Owe $700 Billion In Taxes On Offshore Profits, New Research Shows

American multinational corporations are apparently dodging nearly $700 billion in U.S. taxes they owe on profits stockpiled offshore, according to a new "corporate tax chartbook" from Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF) and the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).

Last year, Fortune 500 companies had $2.4 trillion in untaxed offshore profits, on which they owe up to $695 billion in U.S. taxes, the analysis found.

"Corporations have not paid any U.S. taxes on these profits because our tax system lets them defer paying taxes until that income is brought back to the U.S. parent corporation (i.e., repatriated)," the report states.

This deferral process costs the U.S. Treasury roughly $126 billion annually or $1.3 trillion over a decade. 

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
6:32pm
Thu Feb 25, 2016

The Forbes 400 Are Wealthier Than 194 Million Americans Combined

The 400 richest Americans have as much combined wealth as all African-American households in the United States plus a third of those headed by Latinos.

That jaw-dropping stat comes from a recent report by the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), a left-leaning think tank that examined the wealth concentration among the Forbes 400 billionaires, who are collectively worth a record $2.34 trillion.

Forbes 400 members, including just two African Americans and five Latinos, are wealthier than the entire bottom 61 percent of the U.S. population, representing 194 million people or 70 million households.

America's 20 wealthiest individuals alone (17 men and three women, all of whom are white) currently "own more wealth than the bottom half of the American population combined, a total of 152 million people in 57 million households," according to the report.

The wealth divide is even more striking when compared along racial lines.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:53pm
Wed Apr 29, 2015

The High Cost Of Offshore Tax Havens On Small Illinois Businesses

If Illinois small business owners were to collectively offset state and federal revenues lost annually due to corporations using offshore tax havens, they would each have to pay $4,570 in additional taxes a year.

That what-if scenario is laid out in a recent report from the Illinois Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) examining the issue of "corporate tax haven abuse" and what it means for small businesses.

Through the use of accounting "gimmicks" to shift profits offshore, corporations avoid paying $110 billion annually in federal and state income taxes combined, according to Illinois PIRG's "Picking up the Tab" report. Specifically, about $90 billion in federal and $20 billion in state corporate income tax revenue is lost each year to tax havens, the research reveals.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:53pm
Thu Jul 24, 2014

Chicagoans Push Back Against Walgreens' Potential Tax Inversion (VIDEO)

Tax fairness activists delivered 70,000 petition signatures to a downtown Chicago Walgreens store Thursday, calling on the nation’s largest pharmacy chain to remain a U.S company and pay its "fair share of taxes."

It is rumored that Deerfield-based Walgreen Co. is considering plans to reincorporate itself offshore in Switzerland, a "tax haven," through a maneuver called a corporate tax inversion. Such a move could reportedly cost U.S. taxpayers $4 billion in lost tax revenue over a five-year period.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
6:09pm
Wed Jun 11, 2014

Tax Fairness Groups Rally Against Walgreen's Potential $4 Billion Tax Dodge (VIDEO)

Tax fairness activists rallied outside of the Walgreens downtown Chicago flagship store Wednesday morning in protest of possible plans by the nation's biggest pharmacy chain to move its corporate address from Illinois to Switzerland, a "tax haven."

Toting signs reading "Walgreens, don't shortchange America," about 20 activists called on Deerfield-based Walgreen Co. to remain an Illinois company and drop a potential plan to reincorporate itself offshore through a maneuver called a "corporate tax inversion." The move could cost U.S. taxpayers $4 billion in lost tax revenue over a five-year period, shows a new report released ahead of today's protest by Americans for Tax Fairness and Change to Win Retail Initiatives.

"If Walgreens relinquishes Illinois roots by becoming a Swiss company, it will not only be a betrayal of the people of the great state of Illinois, it will undermine critical taxpayer-funded services that we all rely on," stressed William McNary, co-director of Citizen Action/Illinois. "If Walgreens moves it corporate address offshore, it will still take advantage of all the benefits it gets from operating in America. It will still get the $72 billion in annual sales that we give them every year. It will still get the $16 billion that we as taxpayers give them for Medicare and Medicaid."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:25pm
Thu Aug 22, 2013

Chicagoans 'Out' General Electric For Dodging Taxes, Demand Sen. Durbin Close Loopholes (VIDEO)

Chicagoans from across the city rallied downtown Thursday afternoon to “out” General Electric as a corporate tax dodger and to call upon U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) to take charge and make corporations pay their fair share.

Chicago is one of 10 cities taking part in the National People's Action campaign this week meant to shine a light on various corporate tax dodgers across the county. According to the protestors, GE received $8.4 billion in federal tax breaks between 2008 and 2010.

“Everyday people are suffering while corporate taxes are at historic lows, even though corporate profits are at an all time high,” said Toby Chow, a leader with IIRON.

Quick Hit
by
12:53am
Tue Jul 2, 2013

Activists Call Out A Bad Apple On Michigan Avenue

The following was written by Jacob Swenson, a community activist and University of Chicago student.

At the Apple store on Michigan Avenue Monday, not everyone was looking to buy the latest version of the iPhone.  Employees and customers alike were taken by surprise when, during the lunch hour break, more than 60 members of Fair Economy Illinois began chanting slogans such as “Apple, Apple you’re no good, pay your taxes like you should!”

As the they assembled on the large glass stairwell of the two-story building, activists held up signs that played off Apple’s own creative branding, saying, “iPaid my taxes, Apple should too” and “It doesn’t take a Genius to pay your taxes.” 

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