Tax Break

Billions in tax savings a goal of anti-debt group, according to think tank

November 13, 2012

When a group of 86 large U.S. companies came out in late October in favor of fixing the debt it was seen as a rare example of corporate unity, and a wake up call on just how urgent an issue the growing federal deficit has become for business.

In a new report, the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS),  a liberal Washington think tank,  argues that the group, called “Fix the Debt” is basically a larger version of an earlier Washington corporate lobbying group called “Win America”, and shares its focus on getting corporate money now being held overseas back into the United States with little or no taxes taken out.

Win America was pushing mainly for a lower tax rate on the repatriation of foreign earnings, but Fix the Debt is instead pushing for a shift by the United States to a territorial tax model.  Under this kind of system, the companies would paylittle or no taxes on foreign earnings when those profits are brought into the to US.  It’s especially beneficial to companies that earn a significant amount of profit in offshore tax havens.

Such a change would result in a $134 billion windfall for the 63 publicly traded companies in the Fix the Debt coalition, IPS calculates. 

Requests for comment sent to Fix the Debt were not replied to.

In a slide presentation on the group’s website on a slide entitled “What can we do?”  a “simplified tax system that is territorial and collects more revenue” is listed as one of the “budget basics that need to be addressed.”

Included in IPS’s $134 billion figure are these top 10 beneficiaries:

Fix the Debt Member Company Offshore Profits  Potential Tax Savings 
General Electric  $102 billion  $35.7 billion 
Microsoft  $60.8 billion  $19.4 billion 
Merck  $44.3 billion  $15.5 billion 
Cisco Systems  $41.3 billion  $14.5 billion 
JPMorgan Chase  $21.8 billion  $4.9 billion 
Goldman Sachs  $20.6 billion  $3.3 billion 
Bank of America  $18.5 billion  $2.5 billion 
Qualcomm  $16.4 billion  $5.7 billion 
Corning  $10.8 billion  $3.8 billion 
Dow Chemical  $10.0 billion  $3.5 billion 



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