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 Foundation | Budget

Following the Money 2012

This report is OSPIRG Foundation’s third annual ranking of states’ progress toward “Transparency 2.0” – a new standard of comprehensive, one-stop, one-click budget accountability and accessibility. The past year has seen continued progress, with new states providing online access to government spending information and several states pioneering new tools to further expand citizens’ access to spending information and engagement with government.

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Blog Post | Tax

Could Obama's Business Tax Reform Realize Its Potential? | Matt Orchant

The much anticipated corporate tax reform framework released last week by President Obama hit all the right notes but lacked the details to know if can fully realize it’s potential.

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Media Hit | Tax

Group says Corporate Tax Subsidies Need Justification

A new report released today by OSPIRG says more needs to be done to prove that corporate tax subsidies provide enough value to the public.

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Media Hit | Tax

Group Wants More Details In Tax Data

An Oregon consumer group says that data on the state’s corporate tax subsidies needs to be more detailed to demonstrate the public good.

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Media Hit | Tax

OSPIRG Examines Tax Credits, Sees Little Benefit

Approving tax credits is a little bit like continuing to drink after you know you've had enough—it seems like a good idea at the time but can be hard to justify in the cold light of sobriety.

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Media Hit | Budget, Tax

Oregon, Washington Consider Public Records Overhaul

The Attorneys General of Oregon and Washington are asking state lawmakers to make public documents more accessible.

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Media Hit | Budget, Tax

Shine Light on Tax Breaks

Oregon spends about $350 million per biennium on programs designed to promote economic development, mostly by providing tax breaks to companies that create new jobs.

 

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Media Hit | Budget, Tax

Energy Tax Credits Return, But With New Restrictions

Energy businesses looking for tax credits from the state can start applying Monday. But because of questionable practices in the past, the legislature has placed a $300 million cap on the program.

 

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Media Hit | Budget, Tax

Editorial: Let incentives be easy to see

Oregon has a dozen programs of giving tax breaks or subsidies to companies that pledge to create jobs. Are these programs working as intended? Are they worth whatever they cost?

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Media Hit | Budget, Tax

Report Slams Oregon For Failure to Disclose Subsidies

The state of Oregon is a failure when it comes to the transparency of economic subsidies it provides, according to areport released today by Good Jobs First, a Washington, D.C. non-profit.

 

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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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