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Jason Donofrio,
Arizona PIRG

Taxpayers Footing a $100 Billion Bill for Tax Dodgers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

While a lot of attention is given on Tax Day to how tax dollars are spent, the  Arizona PIRG Education Fund is instead focused on the $100 billion in revenue lost every year due to loopholes, tax avoidance and tax cheats.

According to Tax Shell Game: What Do Tax Dodgers Cost You?, a new report by the Arizona PIRG Education Fund, major corporations and individuals avoid as much as $100 billion a year in federal taxes by “off-shoring” the money they make here in the U.S. or by setting up sham headquarters in tax haven countries which results in an average of $376 in additional tax burden for Arizona taxpayers.

“As hard-working people here in Arizona and all around the country are filing their tax returns, many of the largest corporations are ditching the post office and instead moving money made in the U.S. offshore,” stated Diane E. Brown, Executive Director of the Arizona PIRG Education Fund. 

Brown said nearly two-thirds of both U.S.-controlled and foreign-controlled corporations pay no taxes. Companies that use tax haven countries include American Express, A.I.G, Exxon Mobil, Goldman Sachs and Pfizer – all of which were either recipients of taxpayer-funded bailout money or receive lucrative government contracts.

The very banks that benefitted from massive taxpayer bailouts – like Goldman Sachs, Citi and Morgan Stanley – shift their profits to off-shore locations like the Cayman Islands so they can avoid paying taxes. In fact, there’s one building in the Cayman Islands which houses more than 18,000 corporations.  

“Without reform, main street businesses and ordinary taxpayers without access to elaborate schemes and tax havens are forced to pick up the tab every year. Taxpayers have already rescued the banks and other big corporations – the time to reform the system is now,” Brown concluded.

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