US House passes bill that could shine a 'spotlight' on corporate tax avoidance

Posted:
in General Discussion edited June 18
The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a new piece of legislation that could make multinational corporate taxes much more transparent and shine a "spotlight" on tax avoidance tactics.

Credit: WikiMedia Commons
Credit: WikiMedia Commons


In its current form, the Disclosure of Tax Havens and Offshoring Act would require large corporations registered with the SEC to disclose taxes paid and other financial information about their operations and subsidiaries on a country-by-country basis.

According to the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency (FACT) Coalition, the act -- if passed -- could provide a "spotlight" on corporate profit shifting and tax avoidance strategies.

"We urge the Senate to expedite this important transparency measure after its quick passage in the House. It's far past time for corporate tax avoidance tactics to come out of the shadows," said Erica Hanichak, the FACT Coalition's director of government affairs.

The Disclosure of Tax Havens and Offshoring Act has also been introduced in the Senate, with Sen. Chris Van Hollen leading the charge in that chamber.

Large companies are regularly accused of skirting taxes using various strategies and loopholes. In 2013, the Senate accused Apple of creating offshore subsidiaries to avoid paying billions in U.S. taxes. In 2019, Germany's finance minister said that Apple and other companies are escaping much of their fair tax burden.

Earlier in June, the G7 group of nations agreed to close various tax loopholes that encouraged multinational corporations to move money across borders. The chief change introduced by the G7 is a global minimum corporate tax rate.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 34
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,178member
    Holy smokes, that's great, and long overdue.
    elijahgmuthuk_vanalingamdysamoriagatorguy
  • Reply 2 of 34
    clexmanclexman Posts: 165member
    The only thing this shines a spotlight on is that corporate taxes are so high in the US that companies need to put money in other countries.
    longpathlkruppdocno42
  • Reply 3 of 34
    iadlibiadlib Posts: 72member
    Apple’s been buying back shares for years. Maybe they just take the company private again? Tell the fed to screw off. 
    lkrupp
  • Reply 4 of 34
    jdwjdw Posts: 953member
    A sad day for everyone.  

    Intelligent "small government" lawmakers have allowed loopholes to exist because other more sinister "big government" lawmakers want to take more than their fair share from everyone via forced taxation.  That taxation is on big companies and on individuals who are just scraping by.  Taxing less and spending less should be what all lawmakers are working on.  But they aren't.  They are trying to maintain Big Brother spending and even creating new taxes which will trickle down to all of us.  You've got Federal Taxes, State Taxes, Sales Taxes, Local Taxes, Tariffs, Property Taxes, Payroll Taxes, Capital Gains Taxes, Excise Taxes... the list is almost endless.  It's laughable to say companies or individuals "aren't paying enough" when in fact we are ALL paying WAY too much.  Implementing this tricks to grab even more in taxes means you too will feel the pain through inflation, earlier than you think.  That means your paycheck will be less meaningful tomorrow than it is today.

    So stop worrying about your neighbor and wondering if they pay their "fair share."  Instead, celebrate and rejoice with them if they find a legal way to get around those awful taxes!

    Tax less.  Spend less.   
    Yes, it really is that easy.
    longpathlkruppmaltzdocno42jcs2305
  • Reply 5 of 34
    longpathlongpath Posts: 351member
    jdw said:
    A sad day for everyone.  

    Intelligent "small government" lawmakers have allowed loopholes to exist because other more sinister "big government" lawmakers want to take more than their fair share from everyone via forced taxation.  That taxation is on big companies and on individuals who are just scraping by.  Taxing less and spending less should be what all lawmakers are working on.  But they aren't.  They are trying to maintain Big Brother spending and even creating new taxes which will trickle down to all of us.  You've got Federal Taxes, State Taxes, Sales Taxes, Local Taxes, Tariffs, Property Taxes, Payroll Taxes, Capital Gains Taxes, Excise Taxes... the list is almost endless.  It's laughable to say companies or individuals "aren't paying enough" when in fact we are ALL paying WAY too much.  Implementing this tricks to grab even more in taxes means you too will feel the pain through inflation, earlier than you think.  That means your paycheck will be less meaningful tomorrow than it is today.

    So stop worrying about your neighbor and wondering if they pay their "fair share."  Instead, celebrate and rejoice with them if they find a legal way to get around those awful taxes!

    Tax less.  Spend less.   
    Yes, it really is that easy.
    Taxes that only passed by promising to be temporary are still with us 108 years later, and far from the 6% maximum that was part of that fraudulent promise. The Founders aptly noted that the power to tax is the power to destroy. What is the fair share of another sentient being’s finite time and efforts?
    jdw
  • Reply 6 of 34
    What are the chances of this getting even 50 Dem votes in the senate? From this side of the Atlantic (RH side) it seems like there is zero chance of this passing. 
    All that hot air being expelled for what? Nothing.

    The US system of government is broken and possibly beyond repair.
    The USA... The land of the free being strangled by a gazillion laws. Soon you will need to consult three lawyers (Federal, State, and local) before you step out of your house just in case a new law has been enacted making what you did the previous day now a totally illegal act.
    Yes, that is overkill but do you really need all those laws?  As for stopping me from planting flowers on my front lawn (as a local law did when I lived in the USA)... Really? Why?
  • Reply 7 of 34
    It’s not avoidance when it’s 100% legal. 

    greedy government wants to control your money so they can accomplish their mess of an agenda.  I used your voice. But they’ll gladly force you to pay for it 

    ‘’when there are legal ways to keep more of your money, that not avoidance.  It’s being responsible. 
    maltztht
  • Reply 8 of 34
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,178member
    It’s not avoidance when it’s 100% legal. 
    It absolutely is.
    dysamoriagatorguyStrangeDays
  • Reply 9 of 34
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 3,390member
    Why did I even come to this comment thread. I knew what I’d find: a bunch of corporate bootlicking, in the form of anti-tax, anti-government, antisociety commentary. Wannabe millionaires, siding with the abusive power structure that rules over them, because they hope to someday exploit all the same abuses to end their embarrassment at not being millionaires themselves. It’s not even just ambition; it’s admiration & downright worship of those who abuse to win. Excusing any abuse because the “success” justifies the means. It’s sociopathic.

    You’re not part of the 1%. You’re not a million or billion dollar corporation. You’ll probably never be. You’ll only ever be the servant of one, if that. It’s not because you’re unskilled. It’s not that you aren’t hard-working. It’s just that skill & hard work isn’t what gets you there, no matter what American “bootstrap” propaganda and survivorship bias tells you.

    The proposed changes to tax law aren’t relevant to you, nor do they hurt the 1%, because the 1% have more money than most of us could ever know what to do with (though the corporate bootlicking and anti-society rhetoric suggests you’d be happy to try to spend it all on yourself).

    Get a sense of scale. Dump the “success story” idolatry. Learn to respect society more than you worship laissez-faire capitalism.

    Yes, US tax law is broken, but it’s not because of efforts to get corporations to pay their fair share into the societies they leach off of and exploit. It’s because the US law willfully perpetuates those abuses and US culture actively rewards sociopathy.
    muthuk_vanalingamJaiOh81gatorguyforegoneconclusioncrowleyStrangeDaysAlex_V
  • Reply 10 of 34
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,270member
    dysamoria said:
    Why did I even come to this comment thread. I knew what I’d find: a bunch of corporate bootlicking, in the form of anti-tax, anti-government, antisociety commentary. Wannabe millionaires, siding with the abusive power structure that rules over them, because they hope to someday exploit all the same abuses to end their embarrassment at not being millionaires themselves. It’s not even just ambition; it’s admiration & downright worship of those who abuse to win. Excusing any abuse because the “success” justifies the means. It’s sociopathic.

    You’re not part of the 1%. You’re not a million or billion dollar corporation. You’ll probably never be. You’ll only ever be the servant of one, if that. It’s not because you’re unskilled. It’s not that you aren’t hard-working. It’s just that skill & hard work isn’t what gets you there, no matter what American “bootstrap” propaganda and survivorship bias tells you.

    The proposed changes to tax law aren’t relevant to you, nor do they hurt the 1%, because the 1% have more money than most of us could ever know what to do with (though the corporate bootlicking and anti-society rhetoric suggests you’d be happy to try to spend it all on yourself).

    Get a sense of scale. Dump the “success story” idolatry. Learn to respect society more than you worship laissez-faire capitalism.

    Yes, US tax law is broken, but it’s not because of efforts to get corporations to pay their fair share into the societies they leach off of and exploit. It’s because the US law willfully perpetuates those abuses and US culture actively rewards sociopathy.
    You sound exactly like Karl Marx... or maybe Harpo.
    edited June 17
  • Reply 11 of 34
    Tax less.  Spend less.   
    Yes, it really is that easy.
    More like: Tax less. Watch GDP go down the toilet.

    Alex_V
  • Reply 12 of 34
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,178member
    lkrupp said:
    dysamoria said:
    Why did I even come to this comment thread. I knew what I’d find: a bunch of corporate bootlicking, in the form of anti-tax, anti-government, antisociety commentary. Wannabe millionaires, siding with the abusive power structure that rules over them, because they hope to someday exploit all the same abuses to end their embarrassment at not being millionaires themselves. It’s not even just ambition; it’s admiration & downright worship of those who abuse to win. Excusing any abuse because the “success” justifies the means. It’s sociopathic.

    You’re not part of the 1%. You’re not a million or billion dollar corporation. You’ll probably never be. You’ll only ever be the servant of one, if that. It’s not because you’re unskilled. It’s not that you aren’t hard-working. It’s just that skill & hard work isn’t what gets you there, no matter what American “bootstrap” propaganda and survivorship bias tells you.

    The proposed changes to tax law aren’t relevant to you, nor do they hurt the 1%, because the 1% have more money than most of us could ever know what to do with (though the corporate bootlicking and anti-society rhetoric suggests you’d be happy to try to spend it all on yourself).

    Get a sense of scale. Dump the “success story” idolatry. Learn to respect society more than you worship laissez-faire capitalism.

    Yes, US tax law is broken, but it’s not because of efforts to get corporations to pay their fair share into the societies they leach off of and exploit. It’s because the US law willfully perpetuates those abuses and US culture actively rewards sociopathy.
    You sound exactly like Karl Marx... or maybe Harpo.
    Clever.  You really showed him…

    that you don't know much about either Karl Marx or the famously silent Harpo Marx.
    edited June 17 StrangeDaysAlex_VIreneW
  • Reply 13 of 34
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,382member
    clexman said:
    The only thing this shines a spotlight on is that corporate taxes are so high in the US that companies need to put money in other countries.
    And yet they’re lower than the corporate rate during Reagan. Do you really believe they wouldn’t deploy avoidance tactics no matter what the number was, as long as it was cheaper elsewhere? Get real. 
    muthuk_vanalingamAlex_V
  • Reply 14 of 34
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,382member
    It’s not avoidance when it’s 100% legal. 

    greedy government wants to control your money so they can accomplish their mess of an agenda.  I used your voice. But they’ll gladly force you to pay for it 

    ‘’when there are legal ways to keep more of your money, that not avoidance.  It’s being responsible. 
    Er, yes, it is literally avoidance. 
    Alex_V
  • Reply 15 of 34
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,382member
    lkrupp said:
    dysamoria said:
    Why did I even come to this comment thread. I knew what I’d find: a bunch of corporate bootlicking, in the form of anti-tax, anti-government, antisociety commentary. Wannabe millionaires, siding with the abusive power structure that rules over them, because they hope to someday exploit all the same abuses to end their embarrassment at not being millionaires themselves. It’s not even just ambition; it’s admiration & downright worship of those who abuse to win. Excusing any abuse because the “success” justifies the means. It’s sociopathic.

    You’re not part of the 1%. You’re not a million or billion dollar corporation. You’ll probably never be. You’ll only ever be the servant of one, if that. It’s not because you’re unskilled. It’s not that you aren’t hard-working. It’s just that skill & hard work isn’t what gets you there, no matter what American “bootstrap” propaganda and survivorship bias tells you.

    The proposed changes to tax law aren’t relevant to you, nor do they hurt the 1%, because the 1% have more money than most of us could ever know what to do with (though the corporate bootlicking and anti-society rhetoric suggests you’d be happy to try to spend it all on yourself).

    Get a sense of scale. Dump the “success story” idolatry. Learn to respect society more than you worship laissez-faire capitalism.

    Yes, US tax law is broken, but it’s not because of efforts to get corporations to pay their fair share into the societies they leach off of and exploit. It’s because the US law willfully perpetuates those abuses and US culture actively rewards sociopathy.
    You sound exactly like Karl Marx... or maybe Harpo.
    Without looking it up I doubt you could even accurately summarize Karl Marx’s views on politics and economics, let alone explain why that’s different than the landscape in the US. 

    Hint: nothing of what he said was Marxist.
    edited June 17 Alex_Vmariowinco
  • Reply 16 of 34
    maltzmaltz Posts: 265member
    crowley said:
    It’s not avoidance when it’s 100% legal. 
    It absolutely is.

    Fair enough, if you want to play the semantics card, but it's no more "avoidance" than a family filing in the way that is most advantageous to the family as a whole and taking their maximum deductions.  Even beyond that, public corporations have fiduciary responsibilities to shareholders that legally REQUIRE them to act in shareholders' best interest, which would certainly include maximizing their tax savings.
  • Reply 17 of 34
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,506moderator
    What are the chances of this getting even 50 Dem votes in the senate? From this side of the Atlantic (RH side) it seems like there is zero chance of this passing. 
    All that hot air being expelled for what? Nothing.
    Plus it only 'shines a light on it', it doesn't say they'll do anything to stop it. There are always going to be politicians either involved in the same schemes or financially supported by people who are. Politicians have talked about taxing the rich for decades and they never do anything about it. Everybody works for money and most people can be bought out at the right price. The recent ProPublica tax leak showed how billionaires are getting away with paying minimal taxes.



    https://appleinsider.com/articles/13/05/03/apples-bond-offering-will-allow-it-to-avoid-92b-in-us-taxes

    These schemes aren't going away. The only way they can successfully tax the wealthy is to tax their transactions and wealth, only taxing income is easily avoidable.

    Politicians for the most part are just mouthpieces that don't accomplish any meaningful changes. Some of them say things like billionaires shouldn't exist. Ok, but how? If someone creates a company with a billion customers and they own a significant portion of the revenue, they become a billionaire. If they are a cash billionaire, the government can take some of their earnings but they still own the flow of revenue from a billion people. If they are a stock billionaire, the government can't take anything from them because that's their control over their company.

    Billionaires will always exist and tax avoidance will always exist no matter what people talk about doing to stop it.

    As for the support of tax avoidance, it's understandable that people see taxation as theft by a government who didn't earn the money but the economy is a closed system. The only money in circulation is what has been put there by the government so when it gets concentrated in small pockets, it creates huge damage to the quality of life of everyone else in the form of fewer jobs, lower salaries and cuts to public spending. People at the bottom circulate almost all of their earnings back into the economy. Many people at the top hoard it and just want to accumulate more and more assets and this is affecting people at the bottom:

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/if-you-sell-a-house-these-days-the-buyer-might-be-a-pension-fund-11617544801

    The economy is a pretty strange system overall. All the way through life people are taught to get a job or invest in property/companies but the way companies make money is by selling products and services at profitable prices to the same people who are trying to earn a salary or see growth in their investments in the companies they buy from. That loop gets obfuscated because of the amount of companies there are but this system can only ever result in concentrations of wealth unless the areas of concentrated wealth are taxed heavily.

    I think it's important to keep a distinction between different types of wealthy people. Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are billionaires because they own companies that make billions in revenue but it doesn't automatically mean they are damaging the economy. If they invest their revenues into their products and services, it maintains the economy. The more damaging types to the economy are the hedge funds and banking system that are shoring up money and trying to grow their pool of ownership - these people are driven by pure greed.
    gatorguymuthuk_vanalingamthtdocno42
  • Reply 18 of 34
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 22,992member
    Marvin said:
    Absolutely +1.
    tht
  • Reply 19 of 34
    1348513485 Posts: 187member
    "Large companies are regularly accused of skirting taxes using various strategies and loopholes. In 2013, the Senate accused Apple of creating offshore subsidiaries to avoid paying billions in U.S. taxes. In 2019, Germany's finance minister said that Apple and other companies are escaping much of their fair tax burden."

    It’s not avoidance when it’s 100% legal. 

    greedy government wants to control your money so they can accomplish their mess of an agenda.  I used your voice. But they’ll gladly force you to pay for it 

    ‘’when there are legal ways to keep more of your money, that not avoidance.  It’s being responsible. 
    Er, yes, it is literally avoidance. 

    You, or your corporation, are not obligated to pay one penny more than the legal taxable amount required by law:

    FROM THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE TAXPAYER BILL OF RIGHTS:

    "Taxpayers have the right to pay only the amount of tax legally due, including interest and penalties, and to have the IRS apply all tax payments properly."

    If loopholes exist, it is up to tax-collecting governments to correct them. If taxpayers in the meantime take advantage of the loophole, they are not doing anything illegal.


    Alex_Vdocno42
  • Reply 20 of 34
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,178member
    13485 said:

    If loopholes exist, it is up to tax-collecting governments to correct them. If taxpayers in the meantime take advantage of the loophole, they are not doing anything illegal.
    Of course. And the bill that is the subject of this thread will be a good first step towards that. 
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