Close Corporate Tax Loopholes

PERVASIVE TAX AVOIDANCE — Across the country, some of the nation’s best-known companies—including GE, Google and Goldman Sachs—have avoided paying the taxes they owe, costing taxpayers $150 billion last year.

LOOPHOLES COST $150 BILLION LAST YEAR

No company should be able to game the tax system to avoid paying what it legitimately owes. And, yet, establishing shell companies in offshore havens for the purpose of tax avoidance is becoming more the rule than the exception for at least 83 of the nation's top 100 publicly traded companies. GE, Google, Goldman Sachs and dozens of others have created hundreds of phantom entities with nothing more than a clever tax attorney and a P.O. box.

The official estimate of how much Americans lose in tax revenue is $150 billion per year. That's money that is shouldered by average taxpayers, either through additional taxes today or additional debt to be paid by the next generation.

It’s not illegal, but it’s not right

The result? The average Colorado taxpayer paid $1,183 more this year to cover the $150 billion that GE and others that use offshore tax havens skipped out on. And small businesses and companies that don’t use these schemes have to struggle to compete with those that do. 

Meanwhile, the Colorado Legislature and Congress are considering deep cuts for essential public programs — from education, to health care, to clean air and food safety. They’re asking us to tighten our belts and make sacrifices, while giving the tax haven crew a free ride. We are pushing for commonsense changes that require corporations that are based here and generate profits here to pay the taxes they owe.

Issue updates

Media Hit | Tax

Liberty Global, Western Union among companies using tax haven loopholes, report finds

Colorado companies Liberty Global plc and The Western Union Co. were among the 362 multinational companies found to be maintaining subsidiaries in offshore tax havens, according to a report released Thursday by the Colorado Public Interest Research Group.

> Keep Reading
Report | CoPIRG Foundation | Tax

Offshore Shell Games

Most of America’s largest corporations maintain subsidiaries in offshore tax havens. At least 362 companies, making up 72 percent of the Fortune 500, operate subsidiaries in tax haven jurisdictions as of 2013.

> Keep Reading
News Release | CoPIRG Foundation | Tax

Study: 70% of Fortune 500 Companies Used Tax Havens in 2013

Tax loopholes encouraged more than 70 percent of Fortune 500 companies – including Colorado’s Liberty Global and Western Union – to maintain subsidiaries inoffshore tax havens as of 2013, according to “Offshore Shell Games,” released today by the CoPIRG Foundation and Citizens for Tax Justice. Collectively, the companies reported booking nearly $2 trillion offshore for tax purposes, with just 30 companies accounting for 62 percent of the total, or $1.2 trillion.

> Keep Reading
Media Hit | Tax

CoPIRG: 362 Fortune 500 firms, including 7 in Colorado, use offshore tax havens

Nearly three-quarters of Fortune 500 companies maintain subsidiaries in offshore tax havens, including seven Colorado-based firms, according to a new report by the Colorado Public Interest Research Group and Citizens for Tax Justice.

> Keep Reading
News Release | CoPIRG Foundation | Budget

Colorado Takes Big Jump in Transparency of Government Spending

Colorado took a big jump forward in the transparency of its government spending according to Following the Money 2014: How the States Rank on Providing Online Access to Government Spending Data, the fifth annual report of its kind by the CoPIRG Foundation. After receiving a “D+” in 2013 and placing in the bottom ten states, Colorado jumped to a “B” and placed in the top 20 by implementing improvements like making over 19,000 public subsidies totaling $500 million accessible online.

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News Release | CoPIRG Foundation | Tax

Study: 70% of Fortune 500 Companies Used Tax Havens in 2013

Tax loopholes encouraged more than 70 percent of Fortune 500 companies – including Colorado’s Liberty Global and Western Union – to maintain subsidiaries inoffshore tax havens as of 2013, according to “Offshore Shell Games,” released today by the CoPIRG Foundation and Citizens for Tax Justice. Collectively, the companies reported booking nearly $2 trillion offshore for tax purposes, with just 30 companies accounting for 62 percent of the total, or $1.2 trillion.

> Keep Reading
Media Hit | Tax

CoPIRG: 362 Fortune 500 firms, including 7 in Colorado, use offshore tax havens

Nearly three-quarters of Fortune 500 companies maintain subsidiaries in offshore tax havens, including seven Colorado-based firms, according to a new report by the Colorado Public Interest Research Group and Citizens for Tax Justice.

> Keep Reading
Media Hit | Tax

Liberty Global, Western Union among companies using tax haven loopholes, report finds

Colorado companies Liberty Global plc and The Western Union Co. were among the 362 multinational companies found to be maintaining subsidiaries in offshore tax havens, according to a report released Thursday by the Colorado Public Interest Research Group.

> Keep Reading
News Release | CoPIRG Foundation | Budget

Colorado Takes Big Jump in Transparency of Government Spending

Colorado took a big jump forward in the transparency of its government spending according to Following the Money 2014: How the States Rank on Providing Online Access to Government Spending Data, the fifth annual report of its kind by the CoPIRG Foundation. After receiving a “D+” in 2013 and placing in the bottom ten states, Colorado jumped to a “B” and placed in the top 20 by implementing improvements like making over 19,000 public subsidies totaling $500 million accessible online.

> Keep Reading
News Release | CoPIRG | Budget

CoPIRG Applauds City of Denver’s Transparency Efforts

CoPIRG applauds the City of Denver for continuing to enhance and improve the transparency of government spending and services.

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Report | CoPIRG Foundation | Tax

Offshore Shell Games

Most of America’s largest corporations maintain subsidiaries in offshore tax havens. At least 362 companies, making up 72 percent of the Fortune 500, operate subsidiaries in tax haven jurisdictions as of 2013.

> Keep Reading
Report | CoPIRG Foundation | Budget

Following the Money 2014

Every year, state governments spend tens of billions of dollars through contracts for goods and services, subsidies to encourage economic development, and other expenditures. Accountability and public scrutiny are necessary to ensure that the public can trust that state funds are well spent.

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Report | CoPIRG Foundation | Budget

Following the Money 2013

Every year, state governments spend tens of billions of dollars through contracts with private entities for goods and services, subsidies to encourage economic development, grants, and other forms of spending. Accountability and public scrutiny are necessary to ensure that state funds are well spent.

> Keep Reading
Report | CoPIRG Foundation | Budget, Tax

The Hidden Cost of Offshore Tax Havens

In 2011, Colorado lost approximately $504 million in tax revenues from corporations and wealthy individuals who sheltered money in foreign tax havens. Multinational corporations account for more than $310 million of the lost tax revenue, and wealthy individuals account for the rest.

> Keep Reading
Report | CoPIRG Foundation | Budget, Tax

The Hidden Cost of Offshore Tax Havens

In 2011, Colorado lost approximately $504 million in tax revenues from corporations and wealthy individuals who sheltered money in foreign tax havens. Multinational corporations account for more than $310 million of the lost tax revenue, and wealthy individuals account for the rest.

> Keep Reading

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Priority Action

The CUT Loopholes Act would put an end to the price and profit shifting that allows publicly traded companies to engage in pervasive tax avoidance.

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