Climate & Energy Blog

Stop big corporations from shipping jobs and profits overseas

Posted Feb. 7, 2013 / Posted by: Lisa Matthes

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) introduce Corporate Tax Fairness Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) introduced a powerful piece of legislation to address the use of overseas tax havens by corporations to avoid paying taxes. The Corporate Tax Fairness Act would end the system that gives corporations tax breaks for shifting operations and profits overseas.

At a press conference with Sen. Sanders earlier today, members of the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency coalition, including the AFL-CIO and Citizens for Tax Justice, as well as a Vermont-based small business owner lent their support to the legislation.

The Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency coalition also sent a letter to lawmakers today urging them to support the Corporate Tax Fairness Act. An excerpt reads:

Policy solutions such as those in the Corporate Tax Fairness Act would not only raise nearly $600 billion in revenues, but also would level the playing field for domestic businesses, both large and small, and keep jobs right here in the U.S. Additionally, by closing these corporate tax loopholes we send a message around the globe that corporate tax avoidance is unacceptable whether it be in the developing or developed world.

Dan Smith, Tax and Budget Advocate with U.S. PIRG and member of FACT stated, "America's largest companies use accounting gimmicks to make their U.S. profits magically appear on the books of bogus shell companies in tax havens like the Cayman Islands. Everyday taxpayers foot the bill for corporate tax dodging in the form of cuts to public programs, more debt, or higher taxes. This legislation tackles the heart of the problem by ending incentives to shift profits offshore.”

It is also clear that there is broad support among American voters for closing offshore tax loopholes to deal with budget problems.

In a December 2012 national poll conducted by the Mellman Group and commissioned by Friends of the Earth U.S., American voters said that they overwhelmingly favor closing offshore tax havens as a way of addressing our national budget problems. Support for this proposal was high across party and ideological lines, as well as gender, race, educational background and region.

Respondents were asked: “To help solve our budget problems, do you favor or oppose closing loopholes that allow corporations to declare profits in foreign countries that have a lower tax rate?” Fully three-quarters of voters favored the proposal with nearly two-thirds favoring it strongly.

Karen Orenstein, international policy analyst at Friends of the Earth U.S. said, “Extreme weather events rooted in climate change -- including flood, drought, fire and superstorms like Sandy -- are destroying the lives and livelihoods of millions of people around the world, and taking an untold economic toll. Cracking down on corporate tax dodgers would make billions of dollars available for essential public services, including a fair U.S. contribution to help developing countries deal with climate change.”

The FACT coalition has made several reports, resources and survey results available that make the case that corporate loopholes are raiding the U.S. Treasury, hurting small businesses and are kept in place by hefty campaign contributions and lobbying.

A copy of the Friends of the Earth poll on offshore tax havens can be found here.

Read the FACT sheet on tax haven abuse by the numbers.
Read Corporate Tax Dodgers -- 2008 – 2010 -- Citizens for Tax Justice.
Read the Small Business Survey Results on Tax Reform --  American Sustainable Business Council, Main Street Alliance and Small Business Majority.
Read Loopholes For Sale -- U.S. PIRG and CTJ Report.

The FACT Coalition includes a broad range of organizations with an interest in seeing tax loopholes closed due to their impact on jobs, critical programs, small businesses, human rights, corruption and national security. The FACT coalition seeks to achieve greater financial accountability and transparency within financial institutions, corporations and government.

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CONTACT:

Nicole Tichon, Tax Justice Network USA, nicole@tjn-usa.org, 202-758-9552

Rebecca Wilkins, Citizens for Tax Justice, rwilkins@ctj.org, 202-299-1066 x 32

Dan Smith, U.S. Public Interest Research Group, dsmith@pirg.org, 202-461-3822

 

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