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 Arizonans $2.2 billion last year.

LOOPHOLES COST ARIZONANS $2.2 BILLION

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 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 taxpayer paid $803 more this year to cover the $150 billion that G.E. 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 Arizona Legislature and Congress are considering deep cuts for essential public programs — from education, to health care, to clean air and drinking water. 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 simply say if corporations are based here and generate profits here, then they should, like all of us who earn income in here, pay the taxes they owe.

Issue updates

Report | Arizona PIRG | Tax

Apples to Twinkies 2013

At a time when America faces high obesity rates and tough federal budget choices, taxpayer dollars are funding the  production of junk food ingredients. Since 1995, the government has spent $292.5 billion on agricultural subsidies, $19.2 billion of which have subsidized corn- and soy-derived junk food ingredients.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG | Tax

Ag Subsidies Pay for 20 Twinkies per Taxpayer, But Only Half of an Apple Apiece

Federal subsidies for commodity crops are subsidizing junk food additives like high-fructose corn syrup, at a rate that would buy 20 Twinkies for each taxpayer every year, according to a new report from Arizona PIRG, “Apples to Twinkies 2013.” Meanwhile, limited subsidies for fresh fruits and vegetables would buy one half of an apple per taxpayer.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG | Tax

Senate Farm Bill Would Continue Giant Giveaways to Big Agribusiness

Statement of Serena Unrein, Public Interest Advocate for Arizona PIRG, on the Farm Bill being voted on by the U.S. Senate.

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Media Hit | Tax

Letter to the Editor: Congress needs to close tax loopholes

This week Arizona’s own Senator John McCain took Apple to task for its elaborate schemes to avoid taxes, including funneling $30 billion through a phantom Irish subsidiary with no employees.

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Report | Arizona PIRG | Tax

Picking Up the Tab 2013

Some U.S.-based multinational firms and individuals avoid paying U.S. taxes by using accounting tricks to shift profits made in America to offshore tax havens—countries with minimal or no taxes. They benefit from their access to America’s markets, workforce, infrastructure and security; but they pay little or nothing for it—violating the basic fairness of the tax system and forcing other taxpayers to pick up the tab.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG | Tax

Senate Farm Bill Would Continue Giant Giveaways to Big Agribusiness

Statement of Serena Unrein, Public Interest Advocate for Arizona PIRG, on the Farm Bill being voted on by the U.S. Senate.

> Keep Reading
Media Hit | Tax

Letter to the Editor: Congress needs to close tax loopholes

This week Arizona’s own Senator John McCain took Apple to task for its elaborate schemes to avoid taxes, including funneling $30 billion through a phantom Irish subsidiary with no employees.

> Keep Reading
News Release | Arizona PIRG | Tax

Offshore Tax Havens Cost Average Arizona Taxpayer $803 This Year

As Tax Day approaches, a new study from Arizona PIRG revealed that the average Arizona taxpayer in 2012 would have to shoulder an extra $803 in taxes to make up for the revenue lost due to the use of offshore tax havens by corporations and wealthy individuals.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Tax

Offshore Tax Dodging Blows a $503M Hole in Arizona’s Budget

As Arizona lawmakers are soon to begin discussing the state budget for the next fiscal year, the Arizona PIRG Education Fund released a new study, The Hidden Cost of Offshore Tax Havens: State Budgets under Pressure from Tax Loophole Abuse, revealing that the State of Arizona lost $503 million due to offshore tax dodging in 2012.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Tax

Report Exposes How Taxpayers Bear Cost of Corporate Settlements

A new report spotlights a common practice where corporations that commit wrongdoing and agree to financial settlements with the federal government can claim such settlement payments as tax-deductible business expenses.

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Report | Arizona PIRG | Tax

Picking up the Tab

Some U.S.-based multinational firms or individuals avoid paying U.S. taxes by transferring their earnings to tax haven countries with minimal or no taxes. These tax haven users benefit from their access to America’s markets, workforce, infrastructure and security; but they pay little or nothing for it—violating the basic fairness of the tax system and forcing other taxpayers to pick up the tab.

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Report | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Food, Tax

Apples to Twinkies

America is facing an obesity epidemic – one that’s hitting children especially hard. The rise in childhood obesity has many causes, but one of the most important is the increased prevalence of high-fat, heavily sweetened junk food.  And shockingly, American taxpayers are spending billions to subsidize junk food ingredients, making the problem worse.

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Report | Arizona PIRG | Budget, Tax

Toward Common Ground for the Supercommittee

The National Taxpayers Union (NTU) and the Arizona Public Interest Research Group (Arizona PIRG) have joined together to propose to the Supercommittee and to Congress as a whole a list of more than 50 recommendations to reform our future spending commitments. If enacted in their entirety, these changes would save taxpayers more than $1 trillion over the coming decade.

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Report | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Tax

Tax Shell Game 2011

Tax havens are countries with minimal or no taxes, to which U.S.-based multinational firms or individuals transfer their earnings to avoid paying taxes in the United States. Users of tax havens benefit from access to America’s markets, workforce, infrastructure and security, but pay little or nothing for it—violating the basic fairness of the tax system. Abuse of tax havens inflicts a price on other American taxpayers, who must pay higher taxes—now or in the future—to cover the government’s revenue shortfall, or must deal with cuts in government services.

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Report | Arizona PIRG | Tax

Toward Common Ground for the Fiscal Commission

Arizona PIRG and the National Taxpayers Union (NTU) have joined together to propose a list of 30 specific recommendations to reform our future spending commitments. If enacted in their entirety, these changes would save taxpayers over $600 billion in total by 2015, the target date for the Fiscal Commission to reduce our publicly-held debt-to-GDP ratio to a more sustainable level of 60 percent.

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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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