Study: Largest U.S. firms hold $2.1 trillion overseas to avoid taxes
The 500 largest American companies are avoiding paying taxes by holding more than $2.1 trillion in profits offshore. a new study released tuesday by Citizens for Tax Justice and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund has found that the top 500 American corporations owe an estimated $620 billion..
The two non-profit groups used the financial filings that multinational companies filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and found that nearly three-quarters of the firms on the Fortune 500 list of biggest American companies by gross revenue operate tax haven subsidiaries in countries like Bermuda, Ireland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.
Results of study:
Apple - Was holding $181.1 billion in 3 offshore locations, more than any other U.S. company, and would owe an estimated $59.2 billion in U.S. taxes
General Electric - has booked $119 billion offshore in 18 tax havens
Microsoft - Is holding $108.3 billion in five offshore tax haven subsidiaries
Pfizer- Is holding $74 billion in 151 subsidiaries
"At least 358 companies, nearly 72 percent of the Fortune 500, operate subsidiaries in tax haven jurisdictions as of the end of 2014," the study said. "All told these 358 companies maintain at least 7,622 tax haven subsidiaries."
"Congress can and should take strong action to prevent corporations from using offshore tax havens, which in turn would restore basic fairness to the tax system, reduce the deficit and improve the functioning of markets," the study concluded.