Published May 20. 2014 4:00AM
Top American companies including pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. are saving at least $550 billion in taxes by holding profits in overseas tax havens, according to a report Monday by the advocacy group Citizens for Tax Justice.
The report said 28 U.S. corporations acknowledge paying less than 10 percent in taxes on foreign holdings totaling $409 billion. Pfizer, which the report said has subsidiaries in Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Ireland, the Isle of Jersey, Luxembourg and Singapore, “does not disclose how much of its $69 billion in offshore profits are stashed in these tax havens.”
“Corporations exploit all manner of loopholes to avoid paying their fair share, and then they get their lobbyists and allies on Capitol Hill to say this tax dodging is justified because the U.S. corporate income tax rate is too high,” Robert McIntyre, director of the advocacy group, said in a statement.
But McIntyre said U.S. corporate tax rates are not much different from those in other developed countries, where these corporations make most of their profits.
In addition to New York-based Pfizer, the report looks into a variety of multinational corporations from all 50 states.
In Connecticut, General Electric, United Technologies, Praxair, Xerox, Priceline.com, Terex, Pitney Bowes and W.R. Berkley are among the companies placing money in foreign accounts to save on taxes.
The report said U.S.-based Fortune 500 corporations are holding profits of nearly $2 trillion in offshore accounts.
“While congressional hearings over the past few years have focused attention on the tax avoidance strategies of technology corporations like Apple and Microsoft … a diverse array of companies (is) using offshore tax havens,” the report said.
Among these are U.S. Steel, pharmaceutical marketer Eli Lilly, apparel maker Nike, financial powerhouse American Express, gaming empire Wynn Resorts and banking giant Bank of America.
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Pfizer, other companies accused of dodging taxes