With key partner organizations, TJN-USA launched the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency (FACT) Campaign and Coalition in April of 2011. We sent a letter to key lawmakers announcing a united front to combat tax avoidance and evasion as well as other criminal activity that our current tax system facilitates. We launched with an event at the National Press Club featuring U.S. Senator Carl Levin and best-selling author Nicholas Shaxson.
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.
Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) and Representative Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) have introduced their flagship bill to end the use of tax havens that push revenue and jobs offshore. In light of the heated debate around deficit reduction, this bill is timely in that it offers a way to achieve fiscal responsiblity by closing loopholes - something that everyone should support. FACT was pleased to participate in the press conference to introduce the Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act in both the Senate and the House.
FACT Sheets and TestimonyFACT 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
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
Watch: View this customized video clip that reveals how corporations dodge taxes and the tax rates they actually pay on huge profits.
Act: Urge your Senators to support the CUT Loopholes Act -- Sign here, send a letter or an email.
Are you a small business owner or formerly a small business owner? -- Sign this petition for fair corporate tax reform!
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 – 2010 – Citizens for Tax Justice
- 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 treasury in the last three years. U.S.
Small Business Survey Results on Tax Reform - American Sustainable Business Council, Main Street Alliance and Small Business Majority
- 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 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. U.S.
- 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 -
- 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
“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
“Cutting corporate taxes right now is insane” - A view from across the Atlantic –Tax Justice Network
The President introduced his framework for corporate tax reform recently. While it does recognize that the issue of offshore tax haven abuse causes extreme damage to our budget and our economy (as well as those around the world), it offered vague proposals that the coalition will continue to fight to improve as the effort moves through Congress in the coming years. What it does do is give us the opportunity to draw clear lines in the sand during this election. Are you going to stand with corporations that dodge their taxes and pass the responsibility of funding the roads, schools and national defense we all rely on to the rest of us? Stay tuned...
Along with partners from across the country, representing over 17 million taxpayers, FACT sent a letter to Congressional leaders to express their opposition to a hollow proposal to allow corporations to enjoy a tax holiday on earnings they claim are offshore. The tax holiday in 2004 was a dismal failure that ended up benefiting the executives and shareholders of a handful of corporations at the expense of everyone else. Many of the corporations went on to cut jobs, not create them.
The FACT coalition and our partners have also released our agenda for tax reform that would keep jobs and much-needed revenue here in the United States. Read it here.
Given the current debate and damaging proposals that have been recently put forth, the FACT coalition and many of our partners sent a letter to lawmakers and to the Obama Administration outlining our corporate tax reform proposals.
Senators Kay Hagan and John McCain have introduced As the President laid out his plans for job creation in the U.S., the FACT coalition weighed in with our agenda to level the playing field for job creators - especially small businesses - who are a critical voice in the tax reform debate.
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 Under Fire: 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 (S. 1483, H.R. 3416), 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.
FACT Coalition members have been advocating for the passage of this bill, which was introduced by Senators Carl Levin (D-MI) and Charles Grassley (R-IA), and is currently working with key law enforcement partners, including the Fraternal Order of Police, to meet with lawmakers, organize letters, and write articles in the press on this important topic. We hope to see some action in September, so stay tuned.
Read the most recent letter to Congress here, organized by FACT member Global Witness.
At a time when countries around the world face budget crises, economies continue to bleed massive amounts of revenue due to secrecy in the financial system which facilitates corruption, tax evasion and money laundering. Shell corporations, anonymous trusts and bank secrecy both in the United States and abroad make it easy for criminals, terrorists, government officials and even otherwise legitimate multinational companies to hide their money and difficult for law enforcement and tax authorities to do their jobs.
With limitless resources to campaign and lobby, those who fight against reform have made our efforts even more critical. We're an advocate for taxpayers, including businesses, who are forced to take on the tax burden for those who avoid and evade taxes.
FACT Coalition Members and Supporters
Americans for Democratic Action
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,
Business and Investors Against Tax Haven Abuse
Business for Shared Prosperity
California/Venezuela Region - Religious Sisters of Charity
Citizen Action / Illinois
Citizens for Tax Justice
Global Financial Integrity
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
Leadership Conference of Women Religious
Move to Amend - Iowa Chapter
New Rules for Global Finance
Project On Government Oversight (POGO)Americans for Democratic Action
Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law
SEIU Local 668, Pittsburgh, PA
Tax Justice Network
John Scmitt, Senior Economist, Center for Economic and Policy Research
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
Wealth for the Common Good