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Sanders Singles Out Top-10 Corporate Tax Dodgers

Taxes Cartoon

Major Profitable Corporations Are Collection Tax Refunds While Avoid Paying Their Fair Share

MOUNT PLEASANT, Iowa – Taking aim at how corporate America has rigged the economy, Bernie Sanders on Friday pledged to close tax loopholes like a law that lets profitable corporations exploit offshore tax havens to avoid paying U.S. income taxes.

“Three major profitable corporations not only pay nothing in federal income taxes, they actually got a rebate from the IRS,” Sanders told a town meeting in a student center at Iowa Wesleyan University.

Overall, General Electric, Boeing and Verizon paid no federal income taxes during the combined 2008 through 2013 tax years. During that period, those three corporate giants racked up combined profits totaling more than $102 billion. In fact, they received income tax rebates from the Internal Revenue Service totaling more than $4.1 billion, according to a report from Citizens for Tax Justice.

“In America today we are losing $100 billion in revenue every single year because large corporations are stashing their profits in the Cayman Islands and other offshore tax havens,” Sanders said.

Sanders’ tax plan would close loopholes those and other corporations have exploited and use the revenue to create and maintain at least 13 million good-paying jobs by rebuilding our crumbling roads, bridges, water systems, railways, airports and more.

Sanders singled out GE, Boeing, Verizon and others on his Top 10 list of corporate tax dodgers during a swing through eastern Iowa three days before Iowa’s precinct caucuses. The senator from Vermont also has detailed a plan to reform the tax system.

To crack down on corporate tax avoiders, Sanders would:

  • End a rule allowing American corporations to defer paying federal income taxes on profits of offshore subsidiaries. Under current law, U.S. corporations are allowed to defer or delay U.S. income taxes on overseas profits until the money is brought back into the United States.
  • Prevent corporations from avoiding U.S. taxes by claiming to be a foreign company through the establishment of a post office box in a tax-haven country.
  • Eliminate tax breaks for big oil, gas, and coal companies.
  • Stop American companies from avoiding U.S. taxes through corporate inversions.
  • Close loopholes that allow U.S. corporations to artificially inflate or accelerate foreign tax credits.

To see the list of the Top-10 corporate tax avoiders, click here.

To read more about Sanders’ plan to reform the corporate tax code, click here.

In Iowa Bernie Sanders Blasts Corporate Deserters

Corporate Tax Dodgers Are
Cheating The US Government Of Over
$100 Billion In Corporate Taxes

AMES, Iowa – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders on Monday denounced “corporate deserters” after Johnson Controls and Tyco International announced a plan to merge the manufacturing giants in the latest example of a U.S.-based company acquiring a foreign firm to avoid paying U.S. taxes.

“The potential Johnson-Tyco merger would be a disaster for American taxpayers,” Sanders said. “Profitable companies that have received corporate welfare from American taxpayers should not be allowed to renounce their U.S. citizenship to avoid paying U.S. taxes. These corporate inversions must stop.

“My message to these corporate deserters is simple: You can’t be an American company only when you want corporate welfare from American taxpayers or you want lucrative contracts from the federal government,” Sanders continued. “If you want the advantages of being an American company then you can’t run away from America to avoid paying taxes.”

Sanders last year introduced the Corporate Tax Dodging Prevention Act. It would end the inversion tax scam by treating corporations as American corporations for tax purposes when it is still majority owned by U.S. interests.

In November, Sanders called on the Obama administration and Congress to stop a similar deal involving Pfizer and Allergan that would lead to higher prescription drug prices. “The Pfizer-Allergan merger would be a disaster for American consumers who already pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs,” Sanders said at the time. “It also would allow another major American corporation to hide its profits overseas.”

Sanders’ Senate bill also would also stop corporations from avoiding $100 billion in taxes a year by stashing their profits in the Cayman Islands and other offshore tax havens.

How And Why Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter Has Dedicated Her Life To Helping People (VIDEO)

Carol Shea Porter 1

“The America dream is slipping away from the middle class,” said Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter at the annual New Hampshire AFL-CIO Labor Day breakfast.

“Carol made the commitment to helping people” said Paul O’Connor, President of the Metal Trades Council at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, in his introduction of Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter.

Carol Shea porter 2There is no better advocate for working families in New Hampshire than Congresswoman Shea-Porter. She has stood up against right-wing attacks on Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. She stood strong in her opposition to the “Ryan Plan” that would slash funding to programs like Head Start and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). She opposed the draconian cuts mandated by Sequestration that forced furloughs on federal workers throughout the country.

In Washington she spoke up for working families countless times by calling for Congress to raise the federal minimum wage. At the breakfast she explained how wage stagnation has hurt working families.

“What Americans want is a decent enough wage, they weren’t asking for 50% of the company, they just wanted to be fairly paid for their labor and they wanted to be able to take care of their families. They wanted to pay their mortgage or their rent, save for retirement, educate their children, and have a little money left over Friday night for pizza,” Shea-Porter said.

Rep. Shea-Porter and NH AFL-CIO Pres. MacKenzie

Rep. Shea-Porter and NH AFL-CIO Pres. MacKenzie

In contrast, one of Shea-Porter’s potential opponents, Brendan Kelly, actually said the minimum wage should be “a dollar and a half” in a recent GOP primary debate.

Shea-Porter went into great detail about how corporations like Walgreens (who have since reversed their decision) are moving to change their corporate citizenship, commonly called inversion, to avoid paying their fair share in taxes.

Working families in New Hampshire need a true leader like Congresswoman Shea-Porter in Washington. In a recent primary debate, all of Shea-Porter’s potential opponents called for a repeal of the Affordable Care Act, which has already drastically lowered the uninsured population of New Hampshire.

In the First Congressional District, the choice for New Hampshire is clear and after watching this video I think you will agree.

 

Watch Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter tell it like it is in her short speech at the New Hampshire AFL-CIO Labor Day breakfast.

Walgreens Bows To LiUNA And Other Shareholders To End Talks Of “Inversion”

Company Bows to Shareholder Concern on Inversion Plan

The New York Times is reporting that Walgreens will buy Alliance Boots but will not be “inverting” to avoid paying US taxes.

Walgreen is near a deal to fully take over the British pharmacy retailer Alliance Boots — but will do so without moving its corporate headquarters abroad.

The American retailer is closing in on a deal to buy the 55 percent of Alliance Boots that it does not already own, a person briefed on the matter said on Tuesday. But the transaction, which could be announced as soon as Wednesday, will not include a move to relocate Walgreen‘s corporate citizenship to a lower-tax country.

Such a move, known as an inversion, would have required renegotiating the existing agreement with Alliance Boots, something the British retailer was unwilling to accommodate, this person said.

Following objections raised by shareholders, including a shareholder proposal by a LIUNA-affiliated pension fund calling for a policy that bars inversions, Walgreen Co. has decided to not to proceed with a plan to legally restructure as a Swiss company.

Companies which “invert” maintain the benefits of being based in the U.S., while slashing the amount of corporate taxes they pay. The scheme is estimated to cost the U.S. economy $20 billion in the next 10 years, according the White House.

“Walgreen Company’s decision to avoid a risky inversion plan is a victory for long-term investors,” said LIUNA General President Terry O’Sullivan. “The company’s inversion plan would have been bad for shareholders and bad for America; allowing them to avoid paying their fair share of taxes that support U.S. infrastructure, education, national defense and other crucial programs. As long-term investors, we were concerned about the impact on the reputation and value of the company.”

Incorporation outside the U.S. could make it more difficult for shareholders to hold a company, its officers and directors legally accountable in the event of wrongdoing. Many jurisdictions outside of the United States have much weaker shareholder rights.  In fact, in some countries shareholders have extremely limited ability to sue officers and directors derivatively, on behalf of the corporation.

In addition, reincorporation outside the U.S. carries the risk of removal from the S&P 500 and other stock indices which can affect a company’s stock price.

LIUNA-affiliated funds have been active since 2005 in overseas incorporation issues involving U.S. companies and are concerned about the long-term value of investments.

America’s Largest Pharmacy “Inverts” To Avoid Paying Their Fair Share

Walgreens (Image by Mike Mozart Flickr CC)

Walgreens (Image by Mike Mozart Flickr CC)

The right wing has cut billions out of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, claiming that our country can’t afford to feed hungry children.  But at the same time, some of our country’s biggest recipients of federal aid – corporations such as Walgreens – are taking advantage of tax loopholes to avoid paying their fair share in taxes.

For decades we have watched our jobs be shipped offshore in corporate restructuring. They take the jobs from hard working Americans and send them to China or India to boost their corporate profit margins. However there is a new trend in Corporate America that is sweeping across the nation. It is called “inversion.”

Inversion is where an American company buys a foreign company and the renounces their US citizenship to avoid paying US taxes. The best part is that it is all done on paper, so they do not even have to pack a box from their corporate headquarters.

Walgreens started over 100 years ago in the small town of Galesburg, Illinois and has grown into the nations largest pharmacy chain, with revenue in the billions. Walgreens, which is still based in Illinois, announced that they are considering renouncing their “corporate citizenship” to move to Switzerland, a tax haven for corporations.

By renouncing their citizenship, Walgreens will avoid paying $4 billion dollars in corporate taxes annually. This is treasonous when you consider that one-quarter, $72 billion dollars, of Walgreens annual revenue comes from taxpayers in the form of Medicare and Medicaid payments. Walgreens is happy to take the taxpayers’ money but do not feel they should have to pay their fair share.

“Much of Walgreen’s financial success was built on programs and infrastructure provided by the U.S. government and paid for by U.S. taxpayers,” said Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) in a letter to the Walgreens CEO and Board of Directors. “If you and Walgreen’s board of directors decide to invert to avoid U.S. taxes, you will be turning your backs on the very people that have allowed Walgreens to thrive and prosper.”

“Inversion schemes are bad for shareholders and bad for America,” said LIUNA General President Terry O’Sullivan. “They erode tax money that should be used for support U.S. infrastructure, education, national defense and other crucial programs. They potentially tarnish the reputation – and thus the value – of companies. And they can make it more difficult for shareholders to hold a company, its officers or directors accountable.”

LIUNA used their pension fund to send a letter to the Walgreens board of directors to institute a policy barring inversions.

“We need to start demanding a little more patriotism from these so-called American corporations,” said Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO. “If they want to keep benefiting from everything our great country has to offer, they need to start showing a little more loyalty to the people who live and work in America. And they need to stop threatening to desert the United States and stop paying their taxes altogether unless we give in to their demands.”

Inversions are not new, corporations have been offshoring their corporate citizenship to avoid paying taxes for many years. Thanks to these corporate tax loopholes, 26 profitable corporations including Verizon and GE, paid zero in income taxes from 2008-2012. The most egregious part of this is that some of these highly profitable corporations actually got rebates and refunds from the federal government making their effective tax rate -10%.

We need to close these corporate loopholes that are letting billions of dollars slip through our fingers. It is also sickening to hear how the corporate tax rate is too high, when many of these highly profitable corporations pay less percentage wise than the average American.

Why does this type of activity not outrage more small business owners? These main street shops do not have the ability to invert to avoid paying their taxes. When will Congress start working for the people on Main Street instead of the people on Wall Street?

“Key members of Congress have introduced legislation based on Obama’s plan. Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), Chairman of a subcommittee that has investigated tax avoidance by Apple and other corporations, has introduced the Stop Corporate Inversions Act of 2014 (S. 2360). Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI) has introduced a companion bill in the House of Representatives (H.R. 4679) that would raise $19.5 billion over 10 years,” reported the Americans for Tax Fairness.

“The President, Senator Wyden, Senator Levin and Representative Levin have all proposed solutions to plug the loophole and the Senate Finance Committee is holding a hearing on the issue today. Let’s get it done,” concluded Trumka.

Are we as Americans going to accept this treasonous activity from our nations largest pharmacy chain? We must close these corporate loopholes that allow corporations to skip out on paying their fair share.

 

UPDATE 8-5-14
Walgreens backs down on plan to invert.  Read more here.

LIUNA Pension Fund Proposal Calls on Walgreen Co. to Bar Inversions

LIUNA - The Laborers' International Union of North America

LIUNA – The Laborers’ International Union of North America

“Bad for shareholders and bad for America” 

Washington, D.C. – A pension fund affiliated with LIUNA – the Laborers’ International Union of North America – today filed a shareholder proposal calling on the Walgreen Co. Board of Directors to institute a policy that bars inversions.

Companies which “invert” maintain the benefits of being based in the U.S., while slashing the amount of corporate taxes they pay.

The scheme – in which a U.S.-based corporation with operations outside the U.S. restructures so the U.S. parent operation is replaced by a foreign corporation – is estimated to cost the U.S. economy $20 billion in the next 10 years, according the White House. Walgreen’s consideration of the scheme has drawn criticism from President Obama and proposals in Congress to curtail it.

 The shareholder proposal was filed by the Massachusetts Laborers’ Pension Fund. LIUNA-affiliated funds have been active since 2005 in overseas incorporation issues involving U.S. companies.

 “Inversion schemes are bad for shareholders and bad for America,” said LIUNA General President Terry O’Sullivan. “They erode tax money that should be used for support U.S. infrastructure, education, national defense and other crucial programs. They potentially tarnish the reputation – and thus the value – of companies. And they can make it more difficult for shareholders to hold a company, its officers or directors accountable.”

 In addition, reincorporation outside the U.S. carries the risk of removal from the S&P 500 and other stock indices which can affect a company’s stock price.

 The proposal is the first of its kind in the retail industry.

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