The "Territorial Tax" shell game

We just had a presidential election in which an admitted tax dodger advocated lower taxes on corporations and speculators like him – and voters rejected that idea and him. Also, polls show that about seven out of 10 Americans think corporations should pay more in taxes than they do now, and that loopholes allowing corporations to dodge their taxes should be plugged, pronto.

We just had a presidential election in which an admitted tax dodger advocated lower taxes on corporations and speculators like him – and voters rejected that idea and him. Also, polls show that about seven out of 10 Americans think corporations should pay more in taxes than they do now, and that loopholes allowing corporations to dodge their taxes should be plugged, pronto.

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Yet, a tiny percentage of Americans – the CEOs of huge multinational corporations – are demanding that Congress do the exact opposite of what the people clearly want them to do and instead, enact those special corporate tax breaks that last year’s presidential loser pushed. Whose side is your member of Congress on?

You’d better check, because the corporate powers are pushing furiously for a deceptive gimmick called the “territorial tax.” It declares that the profits of U.S. corporations can be taxed only by the territories in which they’re banked.

Google is one of the giants that are hot for this scheme, for it stashed 80 percent of its 2011 profits in Bermuda. That’s $9.8 billion Google got – not from sales in Bermuda, but from customers elsewhere. Yet, it banked all of the money in this tiny territory that essentially doesn’t tax corporate profits. Thus, the nifty territorial tax is Google’s way of paying no U.S. income tax on those profits to support the schools, police, research, transportation networks, and other public systems that allow it to flourish as an American corproation.

Worse, this territorial scam is an incentive for multinational corporations to shift more of their operations and jobs out of country and to rig their books so all profits appear to be earned offshore. To learn which corporations are behind this and what to do about it, contact Citizens for Tax Justice: www.ctj.org.

“The Fiscal and Economic Risks of Territorial Taxation,” www.cbpp.org, January 31, 2013

“New Corporate Tax Lobby: Don’t Call It LIFT, Call It LIE,” March 7. 2013.

"Two wrongs don't make a right, but three left turns do." --Jim Hightower


“How Apple sidesteps Billions in Taxes,” www.nytimes.com, April 28, 2012.

” LIFT America Coalition,” www.liftamericacoalition.org.

“Biggest Public Firms Paid Little U.S. Tax, Study Says,” www.nytimes.com, November 3, 2011.

“G.E.’s Strategies Let It Avoid Taxes Altogether,” www.nytiimes.com, March 24, 2011.

“Over Two-Thirds Of Corporations Pay No Federal Corporate Income Tax,” www.huffingtonpost.com, January 10, 2012.

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