Tax Justice Network USA

Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency Campaign


FACTlogo_CMYK

With key partner organizations, TJN-USA launched the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency (FACT) Campaign and Coalition in April of 2011. Over the past two years, we have seen major progress in exposing individuals and corporations that use offfshore tax havens to avoid paying taxes.  Media reports and hearings in Congress on the tax strategies used by Apple, Google, General Electric and Microsoft have enraged the public. Developments on the global scale, from the G8 to the OECD, have raised the issue amongst the developed and developing countries and increased calls for international cooperation on taxes and transparency.  We hope to be a resource to those who want to learn more and join our fight.

The policy changes we seek include:

  • Requiring country-by-country reporting by multi-national corporations of the sales made, profits earned and taxes paid in every jurisdiction where an entity operates;

  • Eliminating loopholes in our tax system that incentivize corporations to shift profits and jobs offshore, to make sure that the corporations that benefit from all of the resources, protections and markets in the United States pay their fair share of taxes;

  • Strengthening, standardizing and enforcing anti-money laundering laws; and
  • Requiring ownership information of all business entities, trusts, foundations and charities – information that indicates who actually controls these entities – be made available to law enforcement and the public.

FACT Sheets and Testimony

FACTs on Corporate Tax

FACT Sheet: Tax Reform Agenda

FACT Sheet: Offshore Tax Haven Abuse by the Numbers

FACT Sheet: Repatriation

FACT Sheet: Corporate Transparency

FACT Sheet: Anti-Money Laundering Provisions

FACT Testimony on Non-Resident Alien Regulations

The Big Fake on the Corporate Tax Rate and Corporate Tax Loopholes

 It has been widely reported that the U.S. corporate tax rate is now the highest in the world. While in fact, the U.S. rate is the highest at 39.2 percent – the joke's on anyone who actually believes that some of the largest corporations pay anything close to that figure

Why? Tax loopholes, subsidies, deductions…a whole host of legal tricks makes 39% a quaint notion.  The rate itself is not the issue. The U.S. approach to taxing multi-national corporations enables them to legally shift their profits around the world to escape their responsibilities here in the U.S.  Over 80% of the largest corporations do it. And the jokes on us.

Read: the shocking list of inconvenient facts about the corporate tax rate here in the U.S. We’ll get you started: the average corporate tax rate paid hovers around 12%.

Watch: View this customized video clip that reveals how corporations dodge taxes and the tax rates they actually pay on huge profits. 

http://werenotbrokemovie.com/

Are you a small business owner or formerly a small business owner? -- Sign this petition for fair corporate tax reform!

See what business owners have already signed on.

 

Interested in more evidence?

Read reports and survey results that make the case that corporate loopholes are raiding the U.S. Treasury, hurting small businesses… and are for sale. 

Corporate Tax Dodgers – 2008 – 2010Citizens for Tax Justice

Key findings:

  • Holdings had the lowest effective tax rate of all the companies in the study, at negative 57.6 percent over the three year period.The average effective tax rate for all 280 companies in the study over the three year period was 18.5 percent; for the period 2009-2010 it was 17.3 percent, less than half the statutory rate of 35 percent.
  • 78 of the companies enjoyed at least one year in which their federal income tax was zero or less.
  • 30 companies enjoyed a negative income tax rate over the entire three year period on their combined pre-tax profits of $60 billion.
  • Total tax subsidies given to all 280 profitable corporations amounted to $222.7 billion from 2008-2010.
  • Wells Fargo tops the list of 280 U.S. corporations receiving the most in tax subsidies, getting nearly id="mce_marker"8 billion in tax breaks from the U.S. treasury in the last three years.

Small Business Survey Results on Tax Reform -   American Sustainable Business Council, Main Street Alliance and Small Business Majority

Key findings:

  • Nine out of ten small business owners say big corporations use loopholes to avoid taxes that  small businesses have to pay: 92 percent say big corporations’ use of such loopholes is a problem. Three-quarters of owners say their small business is harmed when loopholes allow big corporations to avoid taxes.
  • Nine out of ten small business owners say that U.S. multinational corporations’ use of accounting loopholes to shift their U.S. profits to their offshore subsidiaries to avoid taxes is a problem: 91 percent agree it is a problem, with 55 percent saying it’s a very serious problem. When asked what would do the most to create jobs, small business owners chose eliminating incentives to move jobs overseas.
  • Small business owners say big corporations are not paying their fair share of taxes: 67 percent believe big      corporations pay less than their fair share. An even bigger majority, 73 percent, says multinational corporations pay less than their fair share.
  • Respondents in this scientific national survey were politically diverse, with a majority Republican or independent-leaning Republican: 50 percent identified as Republican (27 percent) or independent-leaning Republican (23 percent); 32 percent as Democrat (14 percent) or independent-leaning Democratic (18 percent); and 15 percent as independent.

Loopholes For Sale  - U.S. PIRG and CTJ Report on Tax Dodging/Lobbying

Key Findings:

  • 280 profitable Fortune 500 companies collectively received $223 billion in tax breaks between 2008 and 2010 while contributing $216 million to Congressional candidates over the last four election cycles.
  • The thirty most  aggressive tax dodging corporations—dubbed the “Dirty Thirty”— collectively paid a negative tax rate between 2008 and 2010 while spending $41 million on Congressional campaign contributions.
  • The 30 that collectively had a negative tax rate made a total of $30.3 million in contributions to members of Congress who      are currently serving in office, nearly $58,000 per member on average.

Still not convinced that the joke's on us?

Read what our partners saying in opinion pieces and blogs across the country and across the world – representing a different view from the “top” of the corporate tax rate debate...

Let’s end tax cuts and get corporations to pay their fair share” - Business for Shared Prosperity

"The Race to the Bottom on Corporate Tax"  - Tax Justice Network USA

Look who pays less in taxes than Warren Buffet and Mitt Romney?”  - Business for Shared Prosperity

"They pay little or no taxes on massive U.S. profits and then have the gall to lobby for lowering the 'high' corporate tax rate. They’re even campaigning for a tax holiday to 'repatriate' profits they have stashed offshore to avoid taxes. Patriots pay their taxes; they don’t dodge them." – Small Business Chamber of Commerce

“The idea that giant corporations that currently pay no income taxes will suddenly start paying taxes is hilarious.”  - Firedoglake

Cutting corporate taxes right now is insane”  - A view from across the Atlantic –Tax Justice Network UK

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Did you know that it is easier to form a company in the U.S. than it is to get a driver’s license?

Anonymous Corporations: The FACTS

The Problem:  American and foreign terrorists, narco-traffickers, arms dealers, corrupt foreign officials, tax evaders and other criminals easily and regularly set up U.S. shell companies, without providing any information about who owns or controls such companies, to launder their criminal money in the United States or use that money to further their criminal activities, like buying precursor chemicals. Anonymous corporations are great ways to hide money and other assets. An anonymous company can hold a bank account or buy a yacht. Typically, less information is provided to incorporate a company than is required to obtain a driver’s license or open a bank account.

Criminals often layer anonymous corporations, with one owning another and so on, making it harder for law enforcement to “trace the money” to figure out who is directing the company’s activity – i.e. the identity of the real criminal. It is even common for Americans to use anonymous companies to hide assets from their current or former spouses!The World Bank reviewed 150 big cases of corruption between 1980 and 2010 and identified the companies that were used to hide peoples’ identities. U.S. registered companies topped the list.

The Solution: The bipartisan Incorporation Transparency and Law Enforcement Assistance Act would require companies to disclose information about the real people who own or control them (often called the “beneficial owners”) at the time they are created. It is critical that this legislation defines “beneficial owner” as a real human being, not another company, and ensures that law enforcement has access to the beneficial ownership information being held by the states.

Support Letters

Read the civil society organization letter to Congress here.

Read the small business organization letter to Congress here.

Read the letter from socially responsible investor groups here.

Letter to Senate from CSOs.

Letter to Senate from small business organizations .

Letter to Senate from socially responsible investor groups.

Read articles on shell companies and the U.S. as a tax haven in Reuters and the New York Times.

 

Resources

2011 Financial Secrecy Index

Citizens for Tax Justice's Report on the Buffett Rule

Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations' Report on Repatriation 

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities' Report on Repatriation 

Institute for Policy Studies' Report on Repatriation

Institute for Policy Studies' Report on Executive Compensation

FACT Coalition Members and Supporters

Americans for Democratic Action

AFL-CIO

American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)

American Sustainable Business Council

Eileen Appelbaum, Senior Economist, Center for Economic and Policy Research

Dean Baker, Co-Director, Center for Economic and Policy Research

William K. Black, Associate Professor, Economics & Law Univ. of Missouri - Kansas City

Business and Investors Against Tax Haven Abuse

Business for Shared Prosperity

California/Venezuela Region - Religious Sisters of Charity

Campaign for America’s Future

Citizen Action / Illinois

Citizens for Tax Justice

EarthRights International

Firedoglake

Global Financial Integrity

Global Witness  

Government Accountability Project

Institute for Policy Studies –Program on Inequality and the Common Good

Iowa Citizen Action Network

Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement

Iowa Farmers Union

JPIC Ministry - Missionary Oblates

Jubilee USA Network

Leadership Conference of Women Religious

The Main Street Alliance

Move to Amend - Iowa Chapter

New Rules for Global Finance

OMB Watch

OpenTheGovernment.org

Pacific Environment

Project On Government Oversight (POGO)Americans for Democratic Action

Public Citizen

Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law

SEIU

SEIU Local 668, Pittsburgh, PA

Tax Justice Network USA

John Scmitt, Senior Economist, Center for Economic and Policy Research

The South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce

UFCW Local 23, Western PA

U.S. Public Interest Research Group

Arizon Public Interest Research Group

California Public Interest Research Group

Colorado Public Interest Research Group

Connectiut Public Interest Research Group

Florida Public Interest Research Group

Georgia Public Interest Research Group

Illinois Public Interest Research Group

Ohio Public Interest Research Group

Oregon Public Interest Research Group

Maryland Public Interest Research Group

Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group

Michigan Public Interest Research Group

Missouri Public Interest Research Group

New Hampshire Public Interest Research Group

New Jersey Public Interest Research Group

New Mexico Public Interest Research Group

North Carolina Public Interest Research Group

Pennsylvania Public Interest Research Group

Texas Public Interest Research Group

Washington Public Interest Research Group

Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group

U.S. UNCUT

Wealth for the Common Good

 

 

 
 

Apple and Tax Dodgers

 http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/06/01