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Microsoft Avoided up to $4.5bn in Taxes in 2 Years: Good or Bad?

JMCC 2012/09/20 21:31:49
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The US Senate has criticised Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard for their use of tax avoidance schemes, which it says is rampant in the tech sector.

The Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations said the companies used places such as the Cayman Islands so they did not have to pay US taxes.

The chairman of the panel said their practices ranged from "egregious to dubious validity".

Carl Levin has been investigating offshore tax havens for years.

He said the industry was probably the number one user of these offshore entities to transfer intellectual property.

Five of the top 10 companies with the biggest offshore cash balances are in the technology sector.

The committee said that between 2009 and 2011, Microsoft moved $21bn (£13bn) offshore, almost half its US retail sales revenue.

The panel said the moved saved it up to $4.5bn in taxes on goods sold within the US.

It also said the company moves royalty revenue to divisions in lower-tax nations, including Singapore and the Republic of Ireland.
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Top Opinion

  • santa6642 2012/09/20 21:47:45
    None of the above
    santa6642
    +4
    So what Apple is built in china , and dumb americans pay up the kazoo for there products.

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  • AdmrlLocke 2012/09/21 08:45:43
    Good...
    AdmrlLocke
    +1
    Well if the D-rats controlling the US Senate are whining about it, it almost certainly must be a good thing. Poor Bill Gates--he contributes heavily to the D-rats, then under Clinton they try to chop up his company, and now they try to steal more of the income he's produced to line their pockets and buy votes. I wonder if he still contributes to them?! :-D
  • Pedro Doller ~Inc. 2012/09/21 07:24:40
    Bad...
    Pedro Doller ~Inc.
    +1
    "The US Senate has criticised Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard for their use of tax avoidance schemes"

    more like

    "The US Senate under the direction of Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard created tax avoidance schemes for their use."

    It pays to be butt buddies with the President......same for Warren Buffet.

    Carl Levin has been investigating offshore tax havens for years."

    maybe he should investigate the State of Delaware's corporate tax structure. It has been rated the worlds largest Tax shelter.
  • Rosy 2012/09/21 06:36:52
    Good...
    Rosy
    +2
    Tax evasion is illegal; tax avoidance involves the LEGAL deductions (as well as moving investments), companies may take. Microsoft employs thousands of people; with generous salaries and benefits. Members of our US Congress also take advantage of off-shore banks; Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL) is one of many to take advantage of off-shore tax havens. We need to encourage other countries to invest and bring their businesses here to the US. We currently rank18th globally as a country which is business-friendly. It has become a lot harder to do business here.. My small family service just picked up a Finnish-based company. They were very happy to acquire a warehouse which was actually attached to the front office; a common commercial real estate property here. There are various reasons foreign companies want to invest outside of their own borders when they look to expand .Global exposure to markets is just one reason; burdensome taxes and regulations direct them elsewhere to do business. I firmly believe that our school cirrculum should involve (from middle school through high school) mandatory courses in running a business.This would go a long way in educating kids in what it takes to oversee basic business functions; as well as exposure to some of the regulations and taxes involved.
  • AdmrlLocke Rosy 2012/09/21 08:47:25
    AdmrlLocke
    Liberal Warren Buffet is refusing to pay $2 billion that the IRS says his company owes, but you don't hear the D-rats whining about that!
  • Nameless AdmrlLocke 2012/09/21 19:51:14 (edited)
    Nameless
    I beg to differ. Here is an article on the Huffington Post website about Buffett's company "Berkshire Hathaway" not paying taxes since 2002.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com...

    The New York post is quoted in that article, too, as taking Buffett and ALL major corporations (owned by liberals and conservatives) to task about tax loopholes and tax avoidance. I am as liberal as they come and, imnsho, Buffett is dead wrong for not doing what he should do!
  • AdmrlLocke Nameless 2012/09/22 07:29:30
    AdmrlLocke
    Yes, Buffett is a hypocrite, and good for you for acknowledging it. He demands tax hikes but refuses to pay the taxes he already owes.

    A few articles over the years about BH isn't the same as the incessant smear campaign against Microsoft.
  • Nameless Rosy 2012/09/21 19:45:42
    Nameless
    "burdensome taxes and regulations direct them elsewhere to do business."

    Yep, like China where they allow lead in children's toys and in dog food.
  • AdmrlLocke Nameless 2012/09/22 07:33:27
    AdmrlLocke
    You offer the fallacy of false alternatives. The Federal Register has tens of thousands of pages of regulations for everything from what toilet you can install to what size fruit you can buy. Getting rid of a few of them is a far cry from allowing lead in children's toys. It's ironic that you use China as an example too, as the Chinese communists still keep their economy under fairly tight control. They have far more regulation that we do.
  • dacsayshi 2012/09/21 06:18:59
    Bad...
    dacsayshi
    +1
    PG&E; didn't pay taxes either, The good can never let down their guard because there are too many people without a conscience.
  • TheR 2012/09/21 02:22:29
    None of the above
    TheR
  • Flyingbug 2012/09/21 02:12:43
    Undecided
    Flyingbug
    On one hand, there are legal deductions. On the other hand, there is tax evasion. Only the pencil-pushers at Microsoft and HP know.
  • me 2012/09/21 01:42:59
    None of the above
    me
    Whether by individuals or corporations, business or trust funds, any taxable entity:
    Tax avoidance is legal
    Tax evasion is illegal.
    So there's no "good" or "bad" opinion there on either one. The question is whether the tax regulations that make something a way of "avoiding" taxes is "good or bad policy" or whether regulations that make something into tax evasion is "good or bad policy" . That question is about policy making and changing legislation to create different incentives and/or different disincentives,

    That they have "criticized" business is not clear . They are investigating how much tax revenue is being lost by allowing the practices that create tax shelters. That's the job of Congress and is what they should be doing.

    Corporations will always do that which maximized profits. That is what the are required to do, by the law that creates them and allows them to exist. That's up to and including killing your kid. That's why they are not and can never be "people" in the sense of actual human beings. If they could even approach being "people" they would most resemble sociopathic contract serial killers motivated by unending, relentless, ruthless greed. This is not "bad" either. Its just fact under current corporate law, just a it is fact that you can only give a corporation any "morals" "ethic" or "patriotism" by regulating it so its more profitable to act in a way that doesn't hurt people or the country. Otherwise, it will.
  • Jackie G - Poker Playing Pa... 2012/09/21 00:19:33
    Good...
    Jackie G - Poker Playing Patriot
    +1
    They are obeying the laws - want a change, change the laws
  • KingdomNow 2012/09/21 00:02:38
    Good...
    KingdomNow
    +2
    ...and idiots blame Microsoft and not the anti-business government for driving jobs and accounts overseas.

    We need regime change here to bring American business back.
  • CHUCK - Liberal in Seattle 2012/09/20 23:12:32
    Undecided
    CHUCK - Liberal in Seattle
    +1
    That's what people with money can do, try avoiding yours! I know it's probably legal, and that's the problem. Vote for Obama, and we will fix it!

    obama 2012
  • Jackie ... CHUCK -... 2012/09/21 00:21:42
    Jackie G - Poker Playing Patriot
    Not so - Romney wants to lower corporate taxes and take away all loop holes - that would remedy much of this. Obama just wants to raise taxes which should insure more companies leaving
  • CHUCK -... Jackie ... 2012/09/21 01:01:10
    CHUCK - Liberal in Seattle
    Whatever, where are the jobs the Republicans promised in 2010? What? you don't know? They even denied jobs for Veterans today, now they're going home till after the election. and this is your party? You'll probably deny it now, Republicans are running away from your canditate in droves. But you hang in there!
  • Jackie ... CHUCK -... 2012/09/21 01:02:40
    Jackie G - Poker Playing Patriot
    28 jobs bills passed in the House (as well as at least 2 budgets) -- suggest you ask Reid.
  • CHUCK -... Jackie ... 2012/09/21 12:16:56
    CHUCK - Liberal in Seattle
    What happened to Obamas REAL jobs bill? One that would have actually created jobs.

    Keep up your loseing battle, it'll be over in a few weeks.
  • Jackie ... CHUCK -... 2012/09/21 12:23:18
    Jackie G - Poker Playing Patriot
    +1
    Oh the one that even Reid will not bring to a vote - that one?

    I don't have a battle - I do care about this country and do not understand why others do not. Maybe that is a battle of a kind - okay, you are correct, but that battle will never end for me - never. Not willing to give up on this country
  • Mikado Hikyuu 2012/09/20 22:37:41
    Bad...
    Mikado Hikyuu
    +3
    The current system allows for these loop holes to avoid taxes and the GOP actually wants to remove ALL restrictions against companies, which would allow them to pay much less taxes than they currently do.

    Instead of poking a finger at these companies, why not vote against trickle down economics? Why not vote against these excuses and require US companies to keep at LEAST 50% of their manufacturing and jobs IN USA, or tax them as foreign companies if they do not?

    The outsourcing of jobs, the deregulation of companies that allows for loop holes to avoid taxes.. why not vote against these things?
  • Cricket 2012/09/20 22:14:53
    Bad...
    Cricket
    +3
    Definitely not good!
  • gkirmani 2012/09/20 22:09:41
    Good...
    gkirmani
    +3
    what else you expect from coporate sector of America...........they are like leechthey only take benefits.....with no commitment to return the favour
  • Nameless 2012/09/20 21:56:17
    Bad...
    Nameless
    +3
    It doesn't surprise me one iota.
  • santa6642 2012/09/20 21:47:45
    None of the above
    santa6642
    +4
    So what Apple is built in china , and dumb americans pay up the kazoo for there products.
  • ConLibFraud 2012/09/20 21:43:32 (edited)
    None of the above
    ConLibFraud
    +1
    How did everyone get so stinking brainwashed? Enough of the tax bs!!! Anyone ANYONE show me where there is a law that says we have to pay tax!!!! You can't!!!!

    PS - to the dumbed down ... the constitution only says congress has the right! Show me the bill!!!! YOU CAN'T!!!
  • JMCC ConLibF... 2012/09/20 21:51:34 (edited)
    JMCC
    So what happens if people in the US withhold their taxes through protest for example?
  • ConLibF... JMCC 2012/09/20 22:01:46
    ConLibFraud
    +1
    This is what the people have to do to take back their country ...

    It's time for We The People to take matters into our own hands starting with a nationwide tax revolt, stop paying all bank loans and implement a national plea for our military to come home and rescue their country and put up a fence around DC and call it the National Penitentiary. Then put all of them (bankers and their politicians and judges) on trial and punish them for treason. And a note to the media ... we have special plans for you!
  • JMCC ConLibF... 2012/09/20 22:04:33
    JMCC
    +1
    Sounds like a plan.
  • ConLibF... JMCC 2012/09/20 22:06:57
    ConLibFraud
    +1
    A damn good one.
  • Kirby JMCC 2012/09/20 22:05:52
    Kirby
    +1
    Ask those who are in prison for tax evasion. I would love to tell the IRS to piss off , but I also don't want to put on a dress and dance for my cellmate either! lol
  • Nameless JMCC 2012/09/20 23:02:01
    Nameless
    They go to jail. The tax laws were codified.
  • Nameless ConLibF... 2012/09/20 23:01:24
    Nameless
    +1
    Yes, actually, I can. This is via Wikipedia:

    Origins of tax codes in the United States

    Prior to 1874, U.S. statutes (whether in tax law or other subjects) were not codified. That is, the acts of Congress were not separately organized and published in separate volumes based on the subject matter (such as taxation, bankruptcy, etc.). Codifications of statutes, including tax statutes, undertaken in 1873 resulted in the Revised Statutes of the United States, approved June 22, 1874, effective for the laws in force as of December 1, 1873. Title 35 of the Revised Statutes was the Internal revenue title. Another codification was undertaken in 1878.

    In 1919, a committee of the U.S. House of Representatives began a project to recodify U.S. statutes, which eventually resulted in a new United States Code in 1926 (including tax statutes).

    [edit]Internal Revenue Code of 1939

    The tax statutes were re-codified by an Act of Congress on February 10, 1939 as the "Internal Revenue Code" (later known as the "Internal Revenue Code of 1939"). The 1939 Code was published as volume 53, Part I, of the United States Statutes at Large and as title 26 of the United States Code. Subsequent permanent tax laws enacted by the United States Congress updated and amended the 1939 Code.

    [edit]Internal Revenue Code of ...










    Yes, actually, I can. This is via Wikipedia:

    Origins of tax codes in the United States

    Prior to 1874, U.S. statutes (whether in tax law or other subjects) were not codified. That is, the acts of Congress were not separately organized and published in separate volumes based on the subject matter (such as taxation, bankruptcy, etc.). Codifications of statutes, including tax statutes, undertaken in 1873 resulted in the Revised Statutes of the United States, approved June 22, 1874, effective for the laws in force as of December 1, 1873. Title 35 of the Revised Statutes was the Internal revenue title. Another codification was undertaken in 1878.

    In 1919, a committee of the U.S. House of Representatives began a project to recodify U.S. statutes, which eventually resulted in a new United States Code in 1926 (including tax statutes).

    [edit]Internal Revenue Code of 1939

    The tax statutes were re-codified by an Act of Congress on February 10, 1939 as the "Internal Revenue Code" (later known as the "Internal Revenue Code of 1939"). The 1939 Code was published as volume 53, Part I, of the United States Statutes at Large and as title 26 of the United States Code. Subsequent permanent tax laws enacted by the United States Congress updated and amended the 1939 Code.

    [edit]Internal Revenue Code of 1954

    On August 16, 1954, in connection with a general overhaul of the Internal Revenue Service, the IRC was greatly reorganized by the 83rd United States Congress and expanded (by Chapter 736, Pub.L. 83-591). Ward M. Hussey was the principal drafter of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954. The code was published in volume 68A of the United States Statutes at Large. To prevent confusion with the 1939 Code, the new version was thereafter referred to as the "Internal Revenue Code of 1954" and the prior version as the "Internal Revenue Code of 1939". The lettering and numbering of subtitles, sections, etc., was completely changed. For example, section 22 of the 1939 Code (defining gross income) was roughly analogous to section 61 of the 1954 Code. The 1954 Code replaced the 1939 Code as title 26 of the United States Code.

    The 1954 Code temporarily extended the Revenue Act of 1951's 5 percentage point increase in corporate tax rates through March 31, 1955, increased depreciation deductions by providing additional depreciation schedules, and created a 4 percent dividend tax credit for individuals.

    [edit]Relationship to Title 26 of the United States Code
    The Internal Revenue Code of 1954 was enacted in the form of a separate code by act of August 16, 1954, ch. 736, 68A Stat. 1. The Tax Reform Act of 1986[2] changed the name of the 1954 Code to the "Internal Revenue Code of 1986". In addition to being published in various volumes of the United States Statutes at Large, the Internal Revenue Code is separately published as Title 26 of the United States Code. The text of the Internal Revenue Code as published in title 26 of the U.S. Code is virtually identical to the Internal Revenue Code as published in the various volumes of the United States Statutes at Large.[3] Of the 50 enacted titles, the Internal Revenue Code is the only volume that has been published in the form of a separate code.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

    All you need do is type "US Tax Code Legislation" into your search browser. I use Google. I've posted all sorts of information on this before so either you have been ignoring the information posted or simply choose to pretend it doesn't exist.
    (more)
  • ConLibF... Nameless 2012/09/20 23:18:36
    ConLibFraud
    Wikipedia! You are a dumbed down slave! Put away the brainwashing and propaganda and don't ever show it to me again!!! Here, get the truth for once on your stinking programmed life!!!



  • Nameless ConLibF... 2012/09/20 23:26:36 (edited)
    Nameless
    I gave you the "dumbed down" site version because I figured you weren't bright enough to do the actual search yourself and it would be easier for you. Go ahead. Do the search or are you too afraid of being wrong?

    Try this from Georgetown Law Library if you think your brain can handle it: http://www.law.georgetown.edu...

    and

    this from Cornell University: http://www.law.cornell.edu/us...

    and this from Tax Policy Center: http://www.taxpolicycenter.or...
  • ConLibF... Nameless 2012/09/20 23:40:15
  • Nameless ConLibF... 2012/09/21 00:02:27
    Nameless
    Read the law.
  • ConLibF... Nameless 2012/09/21 00:14:15
    ConLibFraud
    I am way ahead of you. Nothing in your propaganda says we have to pay tax. Now watch the videos and stop living in denial as a scared little puppy slave. How come you won't tell us how much they pay you?
  • Nameless ConLibF... 2012/09/21 00:49:57
    Nameless
    +1
    I watched it. He was fired for a reason and it was utter incompetence and lack of knowledge of the law. Pssst, I hate to mess with your furry little brain, but I don't work for them. Sorry to burst your little conspiracy theory.
  • ConLibF... Nameless 2012/09/21 00:59:15
    ConLibFraud
    That's what you got? How much do they pay you?

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