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By Jonathan Riley

Statehouse Correspondent

BOSTON — As the state’s citizens rushed to file their taxes on Tuesday, advocates of a state budget amendment that would close offshore tax havens released a new report estimating what such loopholes cost regular taxpayers.

“Many Americans would be shocked to hear that there’s an invisible tax burden that’s been placed on them this year by some of the world’s largest, most profitable corporations,” Deirdre Cummings, legislative director of the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group, told a gathering at the Statehouse steps.

Cummings was joined by Nathan Proctor, state director of Massachusetts Fair Share, and Rep. Josh Cutler, the Duxbury Democrat who filed an amendment to the House budget proposal that would require companies to treat profits made in the state and funneled to tax havens such as the Cayman Islands as domestic taxable income.

The event, held to lend support to Cutler’s bill, also saw the release of a MASSPIRG report, titled “Picking Up The Tab 2014.”

The report said that in 2013, the cost to the average commonwealth taxpayer to “pick up the tab” for companies sheltering money offshore would be the equivalent of $1,886 for individual taxpayers and $6,269 for small businesses.

“Eighty-two of the 100 largest publicly traded corporations have subsidiaries in offshore tax havens. Some of the worst offenders include very profitable Wall Street banks, high tech giants, and the pharmaceutical companies,” Cummings said.

Proctor said Cutler’s amendment to close the corporate tax loophole identified by MASSPIRG in January would generate $79 million annually.

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Report: Tax havens cost Mass. residents

Coffee shop chain will move to London in wake of row over tax avoidance Anger over the corporation’s actions led to customer’s spurning Starbucks The Africa and Middle East operations will also be run from the UK

By Peter Campbell

Published: 13:16 EST, 16 April 2014 | Updated: 18:51 EST, 16 April 2014

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Starbucks will move its tax base from the Netherlands to London in an attempt to banish its immoral image.

The coffee chain is changing controversial methods it uses to push money into overseas tax havens. The surprise announcement puts pressure on Google and Amazon, which have been criticised for similar tax avoidance.

Starbucks faced a boycott in 2012 after it emerged the company had paid corporation tax only once since arriving in the UK in 1998.

Starbucks has said it will pay more tax in the UK as it announced its European HQ will move to London. The coffee shop chain was hit by a customer boycott two years ago in protest over its tax payments

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Starbucks to pay more tax in Britain following customer boycott

(Image: U.S. PIRG)The average U.S. taxpayer would have to pay an extra $1,259 in taxes per year to make up for revenue lost to offshore tax havens and corporate tax dodgers, according to a report released by U.S. PIRG to mark Tax Day on Tuesday.

That lost revenue must be made up somewhere, the group notes, and that burden falls on average tax payers through cuts to public services, higher taxes, and national debt.

According to the report, Picking up the Tab: Average Citizens and Small Businesses Pay the Price for Offshore Tax Havens, corporations and wealthy individuals evade an estimated $184 billion in state and federal income taxes per year, using “complicated accounting tricks to shift their profits to offshore tax havens.”

$110 billion of that comes from corporations such as Pfizer, Microsoft, Citigroup and General Electric.

Average taxpayers and small business owners foot the bill for offshore tax dodging,” said the report’s co-author Dan Smith. “Every dollar in taxes companies avoid by booking profits to shell companies in tax havens must be balanced by cuts to public programs, higher taxes for the rest of us, or more debt.

Likewise, the average small business would have to pay around $3,923 on Tax Day to make up for corporate tax havens.

“Offshore tax havens give large multinationals a competitive advantage over responsible small businesses which dont have subsidiaries in tax havens to reduce their tax bills,” the group writes. “Small businesses get stuck footing the bill for corporate tax dodging.”

And the practice has been continually upheld by U.S. lawmakers.

As U.S. PIRG points out, the Senate Finance Committee just recently voted for “two especially egregious offshore loopholes,” costing the U.S. around $8 billion in lost revenue over the next two years.

One such Committee vote allowed General Electric to keep its 18 subsidiaries in tax haven accounts, amounting to $110 billion kept offshore. GE had hired 48 lobbyists to persuade the lawmakers.

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$1,259: What Corporate Tax Dodgers Cost the Average Taxpayer

US taxpayers would need to pay an average of $1,259 more a year to make up the federal and state taxes lost to corporations and individuals sheltering money in overseas tax havens, according to a report. "Tax haven abusers benefit…

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Havens leave US taxpayers $1,259 tab each – report

Happy Tax Day! Heres something to think about when rushing to meet tonights tax filing deadline: The federal and state government loses more than $180 billion in revenue every year to corporations and wealthy people who shelter their money in offshore tax havens. To put that in context, every U.S. taxpayer would have to slap an extra $1,259 on their tax bill this year in order to make up for …

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Offshore Tax Havens Cost You $1,259 a Year

Every year that multinational corporations and wealthy individuals lower their U.S. tax bills by stashing profits in off-shore tax havens, you pay more to cover their tab. The same is true for small businesses. …

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Tax Dodging Companies Cost You More Than $1,200 Each Year

U.S. taxpayers would need to pay an average of $1,259 more a year to make up the federal and state taxes lost to corporations and individuals sheltering money in overseas tax havens, according to a report.

“Tax haven abusers benefit from America’s markets, public infrastructure, educated workforce, security and rule of law – all supported in one way or another by tax dollars – but they avoid paying for these benefits,” U.S. Public Interest Research Group said in the report released today, the deadline for filing 2013 taxes.

“Instead, ordinary taxpayers end up picking up the tab, either in the form of higher taxes, cuts to public spending priorities, or increases to the federal debt,” it said.

In total, the U.S. loses $150 billion in federal revenue and another $34 billion in state revenue annually because of money parked in tax havens, the Boston-based consumer advocacy group concluded.

That’s almost 5 percent of total federal revenue. The U.S. is projected to raise $3.032 trillion this year, up from $2.775 trillion for fiscal year 2013, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

U.S. PIRG released the report as it tries to increase pressure on lawmakers to change how companies pay taxes on income credited to foreign subsidiaries.

Offshore Accumulations

The largest U.S.-based companies have accumulated $1.95 trillion outside the U.S., up 11.8 percent from a year earlier, according to securities filings from 307 corporations reviewed by Bloomberg News.

Together, they added $206 billion to their stockpiles of offshore profits last year, leaving earnings in low-tax countries until Congress gives them a reason not to. Three multinational firms — Microsoft Corp., Apple Inc. and International Business Machines Corp. — added $37.5 billion, or 18.2 percent of the total increase.

Prospects have dimmed for a revision of the U.S. tax code this year that would have addressed offshore havens.

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Tax havens leave US filers with $1,259 tab each

U.S. taxpayers would need to pay an average of $1,259 more a year to make up the federal and state taxes lost to corporations and individuals sheltering money in overseas tax havens, according to a report.

Tax haven abusers benefit from Americas markets, public infrastructure, educated workforce, security and rule of law – all supported in one way or another by tax dollars – but they avoid paying for these benefits, U.S. Public Interest Research Group said in the report released today, the deadline for filing 2013 taxes.

Instead, ordinary taxpayers end up picking up the tab, either in the form of higher taxes, cuts to public spending priorities, or increases to the federal debt, it said.

In total, the U.S. loses $150 billion in federal revenue and another $34 billion in state revenue annually because of money parked in tax havens, the Boston-based consumer advocacy group concluded.

Thats almost 5 percent of total federal revenue. The U.S. is projected to raise $3.032 trillion this year, up from $2.775 trillion for fiscal year 2013, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

U.S. PIRG released the report as it tries to increase pressure on lawmakers to change how companies pay taxes on income credited to foreign subsidiaries.

The largest U.S.-based companies have accumulated $1.95 trillion outside the U.S., up 11.8 percent from a year earlier, according to securities filings from 307 corporations reviewed by Bloomberg News.

Together, they added $206 billion to their stockpiles of offshore profits last year, leaving earnings in low-tax countries until Congress gives them a reason not to. Three multinational firms — Microsoft Corp., Apple Inc. and International Business Machines Corp. — added $37.5 billion, or 18.2 percent of the total increase.

Prospects have dimmed for a revision of the U.S. tax code this year that would have addressed offshore havens.

President Barack Obama, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, a Michigan Republican, and Senate Finance Chairman Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, support lowering the corporate rate and making significant changes to the taxation of foreign income.

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Tax Havens Leave U.S. Filers Thousand-Dollar Tab: Report

U.S. taxpayers would need to pay an average of $1,259 more a year to make up the federal and state taxes lost to corporations and individuals sheltering money in overseas tax havens, according to a report.

Tax haven abusers benefit from Americas markets, public infrastructure, educated workforce, security and rule of law all supported in one way or another by tax dollars but they avoid paying for these benefits, U.S. Public Interest Research Group said in the report released Tuesday, the deadline for filing 2013 taxes.

Instead, ordinary taxpayers end up picking up the tab, either in the form of higher taxes, cuts to public spending priorities, or increases to the federal debt, it said.

In total, the U.S. loses $150 billion in federal revenue and another $34 billion in state revenue annually because of money parked in tax havens, the Boston-based consumer advocacy group concluded.

Thats almost 5 percent of total federal revenue. The U.S. is projected to raise $3.032 trillion this year, up from $2.775 trillion for fiscal year 2013, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

U.S. PIRG released the report as it tries to increase pressure on lawmakers to change how companies pay taxes on income credited to foreign subsidiaries.

The largest U.S.-based companies have accumulated $1.95 trillion outside the U.S., up 11.8 percent from a year earlier, according to securities filings from 307 corporations reviewed by Bloomberg News.

Together, they added $206 billion to their stockpiles of offshore profits last year, leaving earnings in low-tax countries until Congress gives them a reason not to. Three multinational firms Microsoft Corp., Apple Inc. and International Business Machines Corp. added $37.5 billion, or 18.2 percent of the total increase.

Prospects have dimmed for a revision of the U.S. tax code this year that would have addressed offshore havens.

President Obama, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, a Michigan Republican, and Senate Finance Chairman Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, support lowering the corporate rate and making significant changes to the taxation of foreign income.

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Tax haven abuse costs U.S. filers billions

BERKELEY, Calif., April 14 (UPI) — More wealthy Americans are hiding their funds in tax havens overseas, giving the appearance of less wealth while maintaining their assets.

A new study conducted by Professors Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman at UC Berkeley says that 40 percent of the rich are routing their investments through offshore tax havens. These havens are in the Cayman islands, the British Virgin islands, and Luxembourg, among others, and prevent the wealthy from having to pay taxes on the income.

Since these assets have gone unrecorded, it has created statistical anomalies showing that despite the fact that the rich are richer than ever, the world economy doesn’t show it. Zucman posits in the report that if this unrecorded wealth were recorded, the Eurozone would shift from a net debtor to a net creditor and the U.S. would see a significant reduction in net debt.

This report comes at a time when the inequality gap between the rich and poor is the widest it’s ever been, with many disappointed as the U.S. Congress stalls raising the minimum wage and extending unemployment benefits in a slowly recovering economy.

[HuffPost Live]

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40 percent of the rich are hiding their money in tax havens

As much as six per cent of all world wealth is hidden in tax shelters, according to a new study ‘One per centers’ earned an average of $1.2million in 2012, the most recent year data is available for, but the top 0.01 per cent earned over $30million One per centers’ incomes have remained flat, but the super rich 0.01 per cent have seen incomes sky rocket by 1,300 per cent since the early 1990s

By Ryan Gorman

Published: 18:59 EST, 12 April 2014 | Updated: 19:00 EST, 12 April 2014

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The richest of the rich are amassing wealth at an astonishing rate and increasingly hiding it in offshore bank accounts, a new report claims.

Those at the top 0.01 per cent of the tax bracket are hiding at least six per cent of their assets offshore, and their expatriation of wealth to tax havens is flying under the radar of even the authorities, according to UC Berkley professor Gabriel Zucman.

‘Ofcial statistics substantially underestimate the net foreign asset positions of rich countries because they fail to capture most of the assets held by households in offshore tax havens,’ Zucman wrote.

Losing out: Government entities like the IRS are less able to tax wealthy citizens because they are increasingly hiding assets in tax shelters

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Super rich are even richer than thought as increasingly they hide money in overseas tax havens

If financial service providers really want to be a 'force for good' in Africa, there needs to be more transparency and less promotion of offshore tax havens, writes Toby Quantrill Ideas about what constitutes corporate responsibility are changing quickly. It is clear that being considered a good corporate citizen is now about much more than philanthropy alone. Businesses are increasingly …

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Barclays and Deloitte criticised for the way they do business in Africa

Family tax 'blow' and tax havens crackdown make headlines

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Osborne 'dig' and family tax 'blow' – papers

Chancellor wants to make it easier to impose fines and jail terms on tax avoiders exploiting offshore havens George Osborne is planning to make it easier to impose jail terms or heavy fines on British residents using offshore tax havens to cheat the exchequer out of billions in revenue. The chancellor, who is in Washington at the International Monetary Fund's spring meeting, has drafted a …

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Tax dodging: George Osborne plans to strengthen criminal law

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George Osborne announces crackdown on tax havens

Chancellor wants to make it easier to impose fines and jail terms on tax avoiders exploiting offshore havens George Osborne is planning to make it easier to impose jail terms or heavy fines on British residents using offshore tax havens to cheat the exchequer out of billions in revenue. The chancellor, who is in Washington at the International Monetary Fund's spring meeting, has drafted a …

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George Osborne plans to strengthen criminal law on tax dodging

Family tax 'blow' and tax havens crackdown make headlines

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Family tax 'blow' and tax havens – front pages

Britons hiding income in tax havens overseas to be made criminal offence Tough new measure was announced by George Osbourne at U.S. meeting It could help recoup some of 15billion in tax that goes missing each year HMRC estimates that outright tax evasion costs the Exchequer 5billion

By Alex Brummer City Editor In Washington

Published: 18:42 EST, 11 April 2014 | Updated: 18:47 EST, 11 April 2014

Tough new measure: Chancellor George Osborne has announced that it will be a criminal offence for residents to hide income in tax havens overseas

Britain is to declare war on tax dodging by making it a criminal offence for residents to hide income in tax havens overseas.

The tough new measure, announced by George Osborne at a meeting of finance ministers in the U.S., could help recoup some of the 15billion in personal tax and national insurance that goes missing each year.

HM Revenue & Customs estimates that outright tax evasion costs the Exchequer 5billion.

The Chancellor said: We are changing the balance of the law, so HMRC dont have to prove someone intended to hide their money offshore to evade tax, just that they did so and didnt pay tax.

The message is clear with this new criminal offence: if you are evading tax, there is no safe haven and we will find you.

The legislation will be attached to the finance bill, currently in the House of Commons, and will be published first thing on Monday morning.

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George Osborne announces measure to help Britain recoup some of 15bn lost tax

By Edward Alden and Rebecca Strauss

The corporate cash pile

FORTUNE — The U.S. system for taxing corporate profits is outdated, ineffective at raising revenue, and creates perverse incentives for companies to shelter profits overseas. It is also, for most U.S. companies most of the time, a pretty good deal, which is one of the big reasons why any serious overhaul will be so difficult to achieve.

The quick opposition that greeted the ambitious reform plan released a month ago by Republican Ways & Means Committee chairman Dave Camp, who last week announced he would retire from Congress, was chalked up to the usual array of special interests. But the broader problem is that U.S. companies, particularly those that compete in international markets, have adapted remarkably well to the current tax system. Indeed, the tax burden on U.S. corporations has fallen over the three decades since the last major tax overhaul, in 1986, even as corporate profits have been rising to record levels.

This is contrary to most of what we hear in the tax debate. Much of the attention is on the U.S. statutory tax rate, which at 39% combined federal and state average, is now the highest in the advanced industrial world. Most other countries have been aggressively lowering their statutory rates in an effort to attract investments.

MORE: How Warren Buffett and Don Graham are saving $675 million in taxes

But 39% is a highly misleading number. The average U.S. corporation actually pays roughly 27%, on par with what other corporations pay in similarly sized advanced economies, and this effective rate has been steadily declining since the 1980s. Part of the reason is that Congress has sweetened corporate tax breaks for specific industries, including deductions or credits for domestic production, capital investments, and research and development.

The biggest reason most U.S. companies are not disadvantaged is the way in which the U.S. taxes — or mostly does not tax — the overseas earnings of its corporations. Foreign profits now account for more than 20% of total U.S. corporate profits — double the figure of two decades ago, and that percentage is much higher for big multinationals that drive the debate over corporate tax. In practice, U.S. corporations rarely pay much in U.S. taxes on foreign profits because they receive credit for taxes paid to foreign governments, and are allowed to avoid any U.S. tax payments as long as those profits are retained abroad. Companies are also increasingly adept at sheltering profits in tax havens that collect little or no tax on corporate profits.

The best available estimate suggests U.S. corporations face an effective tax rate (including all foreign and U.S. taxes) of just 15.7% on foreign profits. Of that, the U.S. Treasury actually collects only 3.3%, since most profits are never repatriated. U.S. companies are currently holding about $2 trillion offshore, in large part to avoid tax liabilities.

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Why taxing corporate America is hard to do



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