New in the Huffington Post: 2014 Was the Year of Tax Write Offs for Corporate Crimes

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New column in The Huffington Post from Michelle Surka, U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG) Program Associate, analyzing this year’s large number of allowed tax deductions for corporate wrongdoing.

“2014 was the year that nine-figure government settlement deals with corporations passed from shocking anomaly to normal event.

“The Department of Justice collected a record $25 billion in penalties and fines this year. Many of these out-of-court deals to resolve charges of corporate crime were with Wall Street banks atoning for the bad behaviors that precipitated the financial meltdown. Others were pharmaceutical companies accused of false marketing or other medical firms accused of bilking Medicare.

“These companies might seem to have no good reason to celebrate as this year’s holiday festivities near, but most can find a silver lining. The huge settlement agreements typically came packaged up with nice holiday stocking stuffers for the corporations accused of committing crimes.

“Many of the largest settlements this year, addressing allegations of some of the most egregious crimes, have allowed companies to deduct their payments from taxes.”

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