Fiscal Cliff – offshore tax loopholes

Nov 29, 2012 by


The deadline for Congress to reach an agreement that would pull us away from the notorious “fiscal cliff” is fast approaching. And we need your help to make sure that as Congress gets serious about cutting the deficit, they finally close corporate tax loopholes that could cost us trillions.

The accounting gimmicks big corporations use to shift their profits offshore could cost taxpayers as much as $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years. Given that Congress is talking about trying to find $4 trillion in revenue and spending cuts over the same period, it’s time to take this obvious first step. And it’s also just the right thing to do. We need these big corporations to pay their taxes just like you and I do. Corporations like:

  • Software giant Microsoft, which has avoided $4 million a day in federal income taxes using sophisticated accounting tricks to artificially shift its income to tax-friendly Puerto Rico.
  • And Hewlett-Packard is even worse: This California company skirts federal taxes by keeping nearly every dollar it makes offshore. To keep the doors open at its Palo Alto headquarters, the company uses an elaborate loan scheme to constantly borrow money from its offshore subsidiaries. [1]

Now, this is all perfectly legal, and that’s exactly the problem. It’s high time we do away with these loopholes once and for all.

Tell Sens. Boxer and Feinstein that you’re tired of carrying the weight for these scheming corporations.

When giant profitable corporations don’t pay their taxes, they leave the rest of us to shoulder the burden — an estimated $150 billion a year — either through cuts to public services, higher taxes or even more debt.

These large homegrown corporations benefit from our infrastructure, educated workforce, and national security. It’s time that they’re forced to exhibit some patriotism and pay the taxes they rightfully owe.

See how much money some of America’s most profitable corporations shift overseas to avoid paying taxes, and tell our senators to end these loopholes as part of any budget deal.

Congress is just a month away from having to reach a budget deal, so we need to make sure our legislators know that making profitable corporations pay their fair share is a priority for the public.

Now is the time for us to put our foot down, and stop carrying the weight of these tax-dodging American corporations.

Tell Congress: Enough is enough — make sure any budget deal closes down offshore tax loopholes.


Emily Rusch
CALPIRG State Director

P.S. Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard are just some of the many notorious tax avoiders. See other American corporations that hide scandalous proportions of their profits offshore.

We welcome your comments!