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 taxpayers $100 billion last year.

LOOPHOLES COST TAXPAYERS $100 BILLION LAST YEAR

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.

Official estimates of how much we lose in tax revenue are between $70 billion and $100 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 $434 more this year to cover the $100 billion that GE 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 state 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 common-sense changes that simply say that if corporations are based here and generate profits here, then they should, like all of us who earn income here, pay the taxes they owe.

Issue updates

Report | OSPIRG | Tax

Picking Up the Tab

When corporations and wealthy individuals hide their billions of dollars in offshore tax havens, average Oregonians pick up the tab.  Oregon taxpayers and small businesses end up paying for these lost billions through higher taxes, cuts in public services or increasing the national debt—the equivalent of $309 per Oregon taxpayer in 2011, or $931 million for all of Oregon.

 

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Media Hit | Tax

OSPIRG Is Going After Tax Cheats

A new study by the consumer group OSPIRG finds that corporations and the nation's richest have avoided $100 Billion in taxes by putting their money in offshore accounts like the Cayman Islands. 

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Media Hit | Tax

OPB story mentions OSPIRG tax havens report

At the same time, the Oregon Public Interest Research Group released a new study saying that offshore tax havens cost Oregon taxpayers about $300 a year each, in lost state revenue.

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Media Hit | Budget

Oregon gets B+ for government transparency

Oregon earned a B+ in an annual report that reviews the level of transparency in government spending.

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News Release | OSPIRG Foundation | Budget

Oregon Receives a B+ in Annual Report on Transparency of Government Spending

Researchers at the OSPIRG Foundation graded all 50 states on how well they provide online access to information about government spending. States were given "A" to "F" grades based on the characteristics of the online transparency systems they have created to provide provide information on contracts, subsidies and spending at quasi-public agencies.

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Media Hit | Tax

Oregon House passes tax transparency measure

The Oregon House has passed a measure that would require state agencies to gauge and more clearly report whether tax expenditures used for economic development purposes are effective.

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Media Hit | Budget, Tax

Gov. spending transparency: Did Oregon make the grade?

Oregon got a “B-minus” when it comes to openness about government spending, according to the second annual report of its kind by the Oregon State Public Interest Research Group (OSPIRG).

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Media Hit | Budget, Tax

Transparency needed on those who received tax credits

Anyone who was paying attention to the news about a Texas trucking company that reaped millions of dollars in Oregon’s green energy tax credits — but actually produced little (if any) environmental benefit — has got to love the “transparency in government act” in the Oregon House.

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PRIORITY ACTION

Some of the nation’s best-known companies — including GE, Google and Goldman Sachs — have avoided paying the taxes they owe, costing us $100 billion last year.

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