News Release

Off-Shore Tax Havens Cost Maryland Taxpayers $470 a Year

Loopholes Allow Many Corporations to Pay Less Than Individuals and Households
For Immediate Release

Maryland taxpayers gathered at a Baltimore Bank of America branch on Monday to show their support for closing loopholes that allow 83 of the 100 largest corporations in America to avoid an estimated $100 billion a year in taxes by hiding their profits overseas.

At the event, members and advocates from the Maryland Public Interest Research Group encouraged citizens to call their representatives in Congress and tell them to close the loopholes.

According to Tax Shell Game: How Much did Offshore Tax Havens Cost You in 2010?,  a new Maryland Public Interest Research Group report released today at the event, the use of offshore tax havens results in $434 in additional tax burden for taxpayers around the country. Here in Maryland, it’s 470 per taxpayer. Many individuals and households may end up paying significantly more than G.E. and other large corporations will pay in income taxes in 2010.

The report highlights how major corporations and some individuals avoid federal taxes by “off-shoring” the profits they make here in the U.S. or by setting up sham headquarters in tax haven countries, leaving ordinary taxpayers to foot the bill.

 “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 Johanna Neumann State Director for Maryland PIRG.

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.  Maryland PIRG, and, today called on Congress 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?” said Neumann.

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