Many of America’s largest companies create and maintain subsidiaries in offshore tax havens. This allows them to avoid paying an estimated $90 billion in federal taxes each year, according to a report by Citizens for Tax Justice and the IRS. Depending on how these subsidiaries are set up, they may or may not meet the letter of the law but the time is now ripe to encourage Congress and President Elect Trump to close the loopholes to these unpatriotic corporations in order to strengthen the American Economy. An analysis of filings in the Securities and Exchange Commission, 72 percent of the Fortune 500 companies have subsidiary tax haven jrusdictions and they hold over $2.6 trillion in profits offshore for tax purposes.
Here is the list of the world’s worst tax havens, according to Oxfam:
2. the Cayman Islands
3. the Netherlands
9. Hong Kong
15. British Virgin Islands
Oxfam also pointed out that while the U.K. doesn’t appear on the list, four of its territories do: Cayman Islands, Jersey, Bermuda and the British Virgin Islands.
The Department of Treasury has implemented new regulations intended to further discourage so-called inversions, which have been on the rise in recent years. when a U.S. company inverts, it may change the address of its headquarters to a foreign country but still operate in the United States.”Many of these companies continue to take advantage of the benefits of being based in the United States — including our rule of law, skilled workforce, infrastructure, and research and development capabilities — all while shifting a greater tax burden to other businesses and American families,” said Treasury Secretary Jack Lew. Until now, U.S. companies that invert have been able to cut their tax bills on future earnings through “earnings stripping.” The foreign parent makes a large and unnecessary loan to the U.S. subsidiary strictly for tax purposes. The interest on that loan is deductible, and those deductions can largely offset — or even wipe out — the taxes that the U.S. subsidiary owes Uncle Sam on its earnings, according to Steven Rosenthal, a senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center.The new rules will discourage foreign-parent companies from loading up their U.S. branches with unnecessary debt because the interest paid by subsidiaries will no longer be deductible.
These rules may help curb tax-driven inversions, but Congress needs to act to stop these activities. Contact your Senators and Members of the House to press for America first to stop the use of tax havens abroad.
Jeffrey Newman represents whistleblowers.