Monday, December 17, 2012

Fortune 500 holding trillions offshore

Taxprof links to a Citizens for Tax Justice report (pdf) that says Fortune 500 corporations are holding at least $1.6 trillion in profits offshore.  290 of the 500 collectively self-reported the figure (via SEC filings), as at the end of 2011. Interesting: half of the $1.6T is reported by just 20 companies (7% of the self reporting, .4% of the fortune 500--the corporate 1%?).  The report includes a list of each of the 290 and the amount they reported as offshore.

It looks like notorious tax dodger GE tops the list here, with $102B waiting for a holiday to repatriate (recall that GE's global head of tax Will Morris, is also head of the tax committee of the business and industry advisory council at the OECD, winner of an "external engagement award" for his service to HMRC, and a long time and vociferous opponent of corporate tax transparency efforts through the OECD and related fora, for a discussion, see here).

Next in line comes a familiar cast of characters, all on that ever-growing tax dodger ledger:

But really, every big American company you can think of appears on this list.  Starbucks can be forgiven for being a bit touchy on the tax dodging radar, since its offshore holdings of less than a billion look positively benign compared to the companies occupying the top of the list.  No wonder that multinationals fear increased corporate tax disclosure, because you never know where the media will train its spotlight for naming and shaming.

No comments:

Post a Comment