Close Corporate Tax Loopholes

PERVASIVE TAX AVOIDANCE— Legislative Director Deirdre Cummings presents the MASSPIRG Education Fund's Picking up the Tab 2015 report with Representative Josh Cutler (Duxbury) and Senator Mark Montigny (New Bedford), chief sponsors of a bill that would help close these corporate tax loopholes that cost Bay Staters $2.9 billion last year.

LOOPHOLES COST Bay Staters $2.9 BILLION

No company should be able to game the tax system to avoid paying what it legitimately owes. And, yet, establishing shell companies in offshore havens for the purpose of tax avoidance is becoming more the rule than the exception for at least 83 of the nation's top 100 publicly traded companies. GE, Google, Goldman Sachs and dozens of others have created hundreds of phantom entities with nothing more than a clever tax attorney and P.O. box.

The official estimate of how much Americans lose in tax revenue last year is $110 billion. That's money that is shouldered by average taxpayers, either through additional taxes today or additional debt to be paid by the next generation.

It’s not illegal, but it’s not right.

The result? The average Massachusetts small business would need to pay $4,031 to make up for the $110 billion that G.E. and others using offshore tax havens skipped out on - making it difficult for them, and larger companies that don’t use these schemes, to compete with those that do.

Meanwhile, the Massachusetts Legislature and Congress are considering deep cuts for essential public programs—from education, to health care, to clean air and drinking water. They’re asking us to tighten our belts and make sacrifices, while giving the tax haven crew a free ride.

A better solution? Require companies to treat profits made in Massachusetts and funneled to known tax havens like the Cayman Islands as domestic taxable income. MASSPIRG is working hard to pass a state bill, An Act closing a corporate tax haven loophole, sponsored by Representative Josh Culter (Duxbury) and Senator Mark Montgny (New Bedford) and co-sponsored by a bipartisan group of 54 legislators, that would do just that -- saving Massachusetts taxpayers $79 million a year.

Issue updates

News Release | MASSPIRG | Budget, Tax

Unlikely Allies Uncover $1 Trillion in Savings for Super Committee

As the Congressional “Super Committee” begins its search for $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction, a new study released today by MASSPIRG’s national affiliate, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG) and the National Taxpayers Union (NTU) provides the panel with more than $1 trillion of spending cuts with appeal from across the political spectrum.

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Toward Common Ground

This report documents the joint findings of the National Taxpayers Union and U.S. PIRG, identifying mutually acceptable deficit reductions.

> Keep Reading
News Release | MASSPIRG | Budget, Tax

Effort to Close Tax Breaks for Big Oil Fails in US Senate

U.S. Senate votes down S.B. 940 known as the Close Big Oil Tax Loopholes Act on May 17, 2011.

> Keep Reading
News Release | MASSPIRG | Budget, Tax

House Approves Tax Subsidy Transparency and Accountability Reform

In the first day of the FY2012 state budget debate, the House adopted reforms to improve the transparency and accountability of tax subsidies.

> Keep Reading
News Release | MASSPIRG | Budget, Tax

Off-Shore Tax Havens Cost MA Taxpayers $608 a Year

Major corporations avoid a total of as much as $100 billion a year in federal taxes by “off-shoring” their US profits. Massachusetts taxpayers are left footing the bill.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Budget, Tax

MASSPIRG Released A New Transparent Budget Report: Transparency.gov2.0

MASSPIRG released a new report today highlighting the benefits and need for an open and transparent state budget.

> Keep Reading

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News Release | US PIRG

Below is a statement from U.S. PIRG Program Advocate Michelle Surka on the proposed House tax bill's impacts on our debt:

“The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, introduced this morning in the House, is an exercise in fiscal recklessness, exploding the budget deficit while failing to close the biggest tax loopholes and relying on gimmicks to obscure the impact on the national debt. Rather than make prudent trade-offs to achieve the President's promised tax cuts, this bill twists itself into knots attempting to distract from the bottom line: it will add trillions to our deficit."

News Release | MASSPIRG EDUCATION FUND

Small business in Massachusetts would have to shoulder an extra $5,845 in taxes to make up for the revenue lost due to the abuse of offshore tax havens by multinational corporations, according to a new report by MASSPIRG Education Fund. 

Report | MASSPIRG EDUCATION FUND

As a new administration takes office and the possibility of tax reform again enters the national conversation, the report highlights how it’s small domestic businesses and ordinary Americans that have to shoulder the burden of multinational tax avoidance.

News Release | MASSPIRG EDUCATION FUND

List of Fortune 500 companies using off shore tax havens to dodge taxes. 

Report | MASSPIRG EDUCATION FUND

New report shows which Fortune 500 companies stashed over $2 trillion in profits to avoid paying more than 200 billion in taxes.

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