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  • Most companies in US avoid federal income taxes
    to support our country said Sen Byron Dorgan D N D who asked for the GAO study with Sen Carl Levin D Mich An outside tax expert Chris Edwards of the libertarian Cato Institute in Washington said increasing numbers of limited liability corporations and so called S corporations pay taxes under individual tax codes Half of all business income in the United States now ends up going through the individual tax code Edwards said The GAO study did not investigate why corporations weren t paying federal income taxes or corporate taxes and it did not identify any corporations by name It said companies may escape paying such taxes due to operating losses or because of tax credits More than 38 000 foreign corporations had no tax liability in 2005 and 1 2 million U S companies paid no income tax the GAO said Combined the companies had 2 5 trillion in sales About 25 percent of the U S corporations not paying corporate taxes were considered large corporations meaning they had at least 250 million in assets or 50 million in receipts The GAO said it analyzed data from the Internal Revenue Service examining samples of corporate returns for the

    Original URL path: http://www.911omissionreport.com/companies_avoid_taxes.html (2016-02-14)
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  • Report Finds Major U.S. Companies Have Offshore Tax Havens
    largest publicly traded corporations and 63 of the 100 largest federal contractors maintain subsidiaries in countries generally considered havens for avoiding taxes Dorgan and Levin said they requested the updated report from one several years ago because they are focused on combating offshore tax abuses which they estimated cause 100 billion in lost U S tax revenue each year GAO auditors did not review the companies transactions to independently verify that the subsidiaries helped the companies reduce their tax burden The GAO said only that the companies had subsidiaries located in jurisdictions considered tax havens and that historically the purpose of those subsidiaries is to cut tax costs The practice is legal but Dorgan and Levin are hoping to gain the support of President elect Barack Obama for legislation that would outlaw it This report shows that some of our country s largest companies and federal contractors many of which are household names continue to use offshore tax havens to avoid paying their fair share of taxes to the U S And some of those companies have even received emergency economic funds from the government Dorgan said I think we should take action to shut down these tax dodgers and

    Original URL path: http://www.911omissionreport.com/offshore_tax_havens.html (2016-02-14)
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  • G.E.’s Strategies Let It Avoid Taxes Altogether
    committee said this month that the donation was unrelated to his official actions Defying Reagan s Legacy General Electric has been a household name for generations with light bulbs electric fans refrigerators and other appliances in millions of American homes But today the consumer appliance division accounts for less than 6 percent of revenue while lending accounts for more than 30 percent Industrial commercial and medical equipment like power plant turbines and jet engines account for about 50 percent Its industrial work includes everything from wind farms to nuclear energy projects like the troubled plant in Japan built in the 1970s Because its lending division GE Capital has provided more than half of the company s profit in some recent years many Wall Street analysts view G E not as a manufacturer but as an unregulated lender that also makes dishwashers and M R I machines As it has evolved the company has used and in some cases pioneered aggressive strategies to lower its tax bill In the mid 1980s President Ronald Reagan overhauled the tax system after learning that G E a company for which he had once worked as a commercial pitchman was among dozens of corporations that had used accounting gamesmanship to avoid paying any taxes I didn t realize things had gotten that far out of line Mr Reagan told the Treasury secretary Donald T Regan according to Mr Regan s 1988 memoir The president supported a change that closed loopholes and required G E to pay a far higher effective rate up to 32 5 percent That pendulum began to swing back in the late 1990s G E and other financial services firms won a change in tax law that would allow multinationals to avoid taxes on some kinds of banking and insurance income The change meant that if G E financed the sale of a jet engine or generator in Ireland for example the company would no longer have to pay American tax on the interest income as long as the profits remained offshore Known as active financing the tax break proved to be beneficial for investment banks brokerage firms auto and farm equipment companies and lenders like GE Capital This tax break allowed G E to avoid taxes on lending income from abroad and permitted the company to amass tax credits write offs and depreciation Those benefits are then used to offset taxes on its American manufacturing profits G E subsequently ramped up its lending business As the company expanded abroad the portion of its profits booked in low tax countries such as Ireland and Singapore grew far faster From 1996 through 1998 its profits and revenue in the United States were in sync 73 percent of the company s total Over the last three years though 46 percent of the company s revenue was in the United States but just 18 percent of its profits Martin A Sullivan a tax economist for the trade publication Tax Analysts said that booking such a

    Original URL path: http://www.911omissionreport.com/ge.html (2016-02-14)
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  • Dodging Repatriation Tax Lets Companies Bring Home Cash
    and profits to tax havens Google Inc for example cut its taxes by 3 1 billion in the last three years by moving most of the income it attributed overseas ultimately to Bermuda Bloomberg News reported in October The tax benefits from such profit shifting can have a greater impact on share price than boosting sales or cutting other expenses since the reduced rate goes straight to the bottom line said John P Kennedy a partner at Deloitte Tax LLP speaking at the conference in Philadelphia Nov 3 Boosting Share Prices For a hypothetical company that has 1 000 shares outstanding has pretax income of 5 000 and trades at 20 times earnings cutting just 2 percentage points off the rate could drive the share price up 2 Kennedy said You may think two bucks isn t much but when you re the CFO and she has 100 000 options that s pretty interesting he said He cited large pharmaceutical and biotech companies including Merck Amgen Inc and Eli Lilly which have reported effective income tax rates at least 10 percentage points below the statutory 35 percent rate The bottom line The effective tax rate is and will continue to be the metric that is used to judge your performance he told the audience of corporate tax accountants and attorneys U S drugmakers shift profits overseas far in excess of actual sales there In 2008 large U S pharmaceutical companies reported about four fifths of their pre tax income abroad up from about a third in 1997 according to a March article in the journal Tax Notes by Martin A Sullivan a contributing editor and former U S Treasury Department tax economist Their actual foreign sales grew more slowly to 52 percent from 38 percent Stranded Cash Deloitte s Kennedy warned that booking large portions of income overseas can mean you are going to strand so much cash offshore that your business chokes That s because the foreign profits cannot be used for such purposes as building domestic factories without triggering federal tax Overall U S companies reported more than 1 trillion in such indefinitely reinvested earnings offshore at the end of 2009 according to data compiled by Bloomberg Last year Merck based in Whitehouse Station New Jersey tapped its offshore cash tax free to pay for just over half the cash portion of its 51 billion merger with Schering Plough according to company filings At the deal s closing Merck s foreign subsidiaries lent 9 4 billion to a pair of Schering Plough Dutch units Then the Dutch companies used those funds to repay a pre existing loan from their U S parent securities filings show The 9 4 billion ended up with Schering Plough shareholders as part of the cash owed under the merger according to the company s disclosure No Tax Hit Bottom line Merck used its overseas cash to pay the former Schering Plough shareholders with no U S tax hit In considering whether companies owe

    Original URL path: http://www.911omissionreport.com/repatriation_tax.html (2016-02-14)
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  • Google 2.4% Rate Shows How $60 Billion Lost to Tax Loopholes
    the largest software company International Business Machines Corp the biggest computer services provider and Oracle Corp the second biggest software company Those companies reported rates that ranged between 4 5 percent and 25 8 percent for 2007 through 2009 Google is flying a banner of doing no evil and then they re perpetrating evil under our noses said Abraham J Briloff a professor emeritus of accounting at Baruch College in New York who has examined Google s tax disclosures Who is it that paid for the underlying concept on which they built these billions of dollars of revenues Briloff said It was paid for by the United States citizenry Taxpayer Funding The U S National Science Foundation funded the mid 1990s research at Stanford University that helped lead to Google s creation Taxpayers also paid for a scholarship for the company s cofounder Sergey Brin while he worked on that research Google now has a stock market value of 194 2 billion Google s annual reports from 2007 to 2009 ascribe a cumulative 3 1 billion tax savings to the foreign rate differential Such entries typically describe how much tax U S companies save from profits earned overseas In February the Obama administration proposed measures to curb shifting profits offshore part of a package intended to raise 12 billion a year over the coming decade While the key proposals largely haven t advanced in Congress the IRS said in April it would devote additional agents and lawyers to focus on five large transfer pricing arrangements Arm s Length Income shifting commonly begins when companies like Google sell or license the foreign rights to intellectual property developed in the U S to a subsidiary in a low tax country That means foreign profits based on the technology get attributed to the offshore unit not the parent Under U S tax rules subsidiaries must pay arm s length prices for the rights or the amount an unrelated company would Because the payments contribute to taxable income the parent company has an incentive to set them as low as possible Cutting the foreign subsidiary s expenses effectively shifts profits overseas After three years of negotiations Google received approval from the IRS in 2006 for its transfer pricing arrangement according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission The IRS gave its consent in a secret pact known as an advanced pricing agreement Google wouldn t discuss the price set under the arrangement which licensed the rights to its search and advertising technology and other intangible property for Europe the Middle East and Africa to a unit called Google Ireland Holdings according to a person familiar with the matter Dublin Office That licensee in turn owns Google Ireland Limited which employs almost 2 000 people in a silvery glass office building in central Dublin a block from the city s Grand Canal The Dublin subsidiary sells advertising globally and was credited by Google with 88 percent of its 12 5 billion in non U

    Original URL path: http://www.911omissionreport.com/google_60bln.html (2016-02-14)
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  • Food Rationing Confronts Breadbasket of the World
    rice we are limiting rice purchases based on your prior purchasing history a sign above the dwindling supply said Shoppers said the limits had been in place for a few days and that rice supplies had been spotty for a few weeks A store manager referred questions to officials at Costco headquarters near Seattle who did not return calls or e mail messages yesterday An employee at the Costco store in Queens said there were no restrictions on rice buying but limits were being imposed on purchases of oil and flour Internet postings attributed some of the shortage at the retail level to bakery owners who flocked to warehouse stores when the price of flour from commercial suppliers doubled The curbs and shortages are being tracked with concern by survivalists who view the phenomenon as a harbinger of more serious trouble to come It s sporadic It s not every store but it s becoming more commonplace the editor of SurvivalBlog com James Rawles said The number of reports I ve been getting from readers who have seen signs posted with limits has increased almost exponentially I d say in the last three to five weeks Spiking food prices have led to riots in recent weeks in Haiti Indonesia and several African nations India recently banned export of all but the highest quality rice and Vietnam blocked the signing of new contract for foreign rice sales I m surprised the Bush administration hasn t slapped export controls on wheat Mr Rawles said The Asian countries are here buying every kind of wheat Mr Rawles said it is hard to know how much of the shortages are due to lagging supply and how much is caused by consumers hedging against future price hikes or a total lack of product There have

    Original URL path: http://www.911omissionreport.com/food_rationing.html (2016-02-14)
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  • Tough choices for America's hungry
    to The New York Times iReport com How are you doing in this tough economy There is some debate about whether giving people money to spend on groceries is a valid form of economic stimulus Few are more hopeful the measure will pass than Crystal Sears a 30 year old mother in Germantown Pennsylvania who said she has been on food stamps for more than three years Sears said she sometimes skips meals so her three children can eat Even with federal assistance she said she sometimes has to make a meal for herself out of crackers or food scraps She said she has been out of work for several years because all three of her children have medical conditions Her 8 year old son has a seizure disorder that requires frequent hospital visits and constant attention her 2 year old daughter was born with heart problems and her 12 year old daughter has scoliosis a back condition that recently required two surgeries she said Without much money she s forced to make tough choices If the kids needed sneakers and their sneakers are getting too small or if my water bill is past due I d opt not to pay it and risk them sending me a shut off notice just so my children can eat she said Sometimes she chooses to buy more food instead of paying her gas bill to heat her home When she does the family sleeps huddled around their stove or an electric heater she said Her monthly food stamp payment is 489 she said That s sometimes sufficient But some months she said she doesn t receive full payments because of mix ups with paperwork Until recently she said she received about 250 per month which she said was far from enough to feed her family of four The SNAP program is meant to supplement a person s food budget not cover all food expenses said Jean Daniel a spokesperson for the USDA which administers the program Taking on part time work would further complicate the application process she said Sears said she worked for seven years at a Salvation Army shelter before becoming unemployed For me I ve always been a helper And my thing is I don t like to help people to enable them I like to help people so they can help themselves in the long run she said Sears stretches her food budget by buying cheap and sometimes fatty meals She said she doesn t like doing that but can t avoid it With food prices high she said grocery shopping is stressful We get like the mac and cheese which is dehydrated cheese basically food that s no good for you health wise she said Everything is high in sodium and trans fats and that s all we basically can afford There s not enough assistance to eat healthy and maintain a healthy weight Advocates for the hungry say many people on the food stamp program opt

    Original URL path: http://www.911omissionreport.com/tough_choices.html (2016-02-14)
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  • 'Recession gardens' trim grocery bills, teach lessons
    a fifth of the gardeners this year will be new to the activity the survey says Most 54 percent said they will garden because it saves them money on food bills A slightly larger group say they garden because homegrown food tastes better There s evidence that recession gardeners stand to see substantial savings at the grocery store checkout Last year Burpee released a report saying a family will get an average 25 to 1 return on its investment in a garden So by that count a family that spends about 200 on a medium to large garden as Michelle Obama reportedly did will save 5 000 in grocery bills over the course of a year That statistic is inflated said Mike Metallo spokesman for the National Gardening Association Metallo s group says a 70 investment in a garden will yield 600 in produce for the year To get those savings a gardener has to know what to plant when to plant it where to plant it how to deal with different soil types and how to care for the garden That knowledge isn t innate these days especially for urban dwellers Bobby Wilson president of the American Community Gardening Association says all of that interest is great but he worries that Americans aren t equipped to grow their own food without some help Many of the people that want to get into the gardening and greening movement right here have never gained the skills he said Many of them came up in an era where there was no vocational education so there was no need to learn anything about horticulture or agriculture He said all of the country s elementary schools should have gardens so future generations will learn how to save money and fend for themselves Susan Hopper a 41 year old elementary school teacher in Tampa Florida said she started a garden last year partly to teach her family and her students about the food chain I have three children of my own and they think chicken comes in tenders and nuggets she said I was concerned about their health and I wanted them to understand that food is a process that we re a part of and it just doesn t come in neat packages Hopper grew up watching her older family members garden but when she first decided to plow a patch of her own yard she wasn t too successful Florida s growing season is somewhat reversed she said so even though she had read Internet articles about how to garden she didn t know the local tricks needed to make her plants survive In the process of digging back into the soil though some new gardeners are struggling with the fact that they re several generations removed from a farm Pamela Price a 38 year old mom in San Antonio Texas said her garden isn t profitable just yet because of droughts in her state She grew up in a family of ranchers

    Original URL path: http://www.911omissionreport.com/recession_gardens.html (2016-02-14)
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