Off-Shore Tax Havens Cost FL Taxpayers Over $4 Billion a Year

Florida PIRG Education Fund

TALLAHASSEE, April 18 – Major corporations and some individuals avoid a total of as much as $100 billion a year in federal taxes by “off-shoring” the profits they make here in the U.S. or by setting up sham headquarters in tax haven countries. As a result, Florida taxpayers are left footing the bill.

According to The Tax Shell Game: How Much Did Offshore Tax Havens Cost You In 2010? a new report by the Florida Public Interest Research Group, the use of offshore tax havens resulted in $434 in additional tax burden per taxpayer throughout the country to make up for the taxes that were avoided by corporations and wealthy individuals.  In Florida, residents paid $290 more per taxpayer.

 “It is unacceptable that many individuals and households pay more in taxes than some of the largest multinational corporations.  Reports of giant corporations which make billions in profits, like G.E., paying little to nothing in income taxes in 2010 show us that the time for reform is now.” explained Brad Ashwell, Florida PIRG’s Consumer Advocate.

In the weeks and months leading up to Tax Day, Congress debated the national debt, rising deficits, and across the board cuts to a range of public priorities such as food safety inspectors, Pell grants and clean air and water programs.  Florida PIRG today called on Congress and the Florida State Legislature to address the deficit by closing corporate tax loopholes, rather than cutting public priorities.

Nearly two-thirds of corporations doing business in the U.S. pay no income taxes at all. Companies that received taxpayer-funded bailout money or receive lucrative government contracts and use tax havens include American Express, A.I.G, Exxon Mobil, Goldman Sachs and Pfizer.

 “Main street businesses and ordinary taxpayers without access to an army of accountants to devise elaborate tax avoidance schemes are forced to pick up the tab every year.  We’ve already paid to bail out the banks and other big corporations – is it fair to ask us to pay their taxes as well?” Ashwell added.

To read The Tax Shell Game: How Much Did Offshore Tax Havens Cost You In 2010?, click here.