US corporations save billions of dollars in taxes with offshore zones

    According to a large-scale study conducted by Citizens for Tax Justice, a US-based nonprofit organization, Fortune 500 companies , including Apple, Google, Microsoft and other giants, underestimate their tax base every year, accumulating money on accounts in areas considered to be a "tax haven" or simply offshore.

    According to the text: in total, Fortune 500 companies accumulated more than $ 2.1 trillion in cash, which allowed them to avoid paying more than $ 620 billion if these funds were returned to the United States (that is, they were repatriated as required by law).

    The authors of the study, including Robert McIntyre, Richard Phillips and Phineas Bucksandall, write that “the rules of the game for international corporations with American registration are very different from the rules that exist for small and medium-sized businesses, and even more so for individuals, in terms of tax realities” .

    The use of legal offshore zones has long been an occasion for a rather fierce discussion and debate, not only in the west, but, as we know, in Russia. However, the CTJ study reveals hitherto unprecedented proportions of "corporate savings."

    So, Apple, an idol company, which many are oriented not only philosophically, but also in a purely pragmatic sense of doing business and approaches to everyday activities, has the “honor” to keep the largest amount of cash on an offshore account, in comparison with any other company - $ 181.1 billion Researchers add that if this money were returned (or, to put it fiscally, “repatriated”) to the United States, the one-time tax would be $ 59.2 billion. Microsoft has offshore $ 108.3 billion, Google has $ 47.4 billion.

    Prior to the publication of this study, Apple paid 2.3% of its “offshore profits,” that is, those funds that are accumulated in accounts in countries with a gentle or absent tax regime. Although in 2012, the New York Times conducted an investigationand described in detail the scheme, the conclusions arrived in offshore through subsidiaries in Ireland and the Netherlands, after which the money settles in the Caribbean.

    To make it clear: the standard corporate income tax in the United States is 35%. In 2012, NYT calculated the general level of tax that Apple pays in the United States on profits, and it turned out that the effective (real) rate of the company is only 9.8%. The difference between how it should be and how it really is is achieved just by using the “tax haven”.

    Naturally, Apple is not the only such company, only the most visible. Recent analysisCapital IQ shows that in the second quarter of 2014, 20 companies from the S&P 500 index (the most conservative blue-chip index whose shares are traded on the NYSE and NASDAQ) had an effective tax rate of 0%, that is, the richest American corporations did not pay any profit tax at all.

    Representatives of Apple, Microsoft and Google declined to comment, as the transfers Motherboard. It is not surprising.

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