Saturday, September 22, 2012

Microsoft, HP skirted taxes via offshore units: Senate panel

I'm shocked!  Shocked!

Yet the contention is that the middle class isn't paying it's fair share, and tax rates for them need to rise while the 1%'s needs to be cut because they pay more than their fair share.

Microsoft, HP skirted taxes via offshore units: Senate panel

By Kim DixonPosted 2012/09/20 at 4:08 pm EDT [News Daily]

WASHINGTON, Sep. 20, 2012 (Reuters) — Technology giants Microsoft Corp and Hewlett-Packard Co used offshore units to shield billions of dollars from U.S. taxes by taking advantage of loopholes and stretching the limits of the tax code, a Senate panel said on Thursday.

Calling tax avoidance rampant in the technology sector, the Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations said tech companies used intellectual property, royalties and license fees in overseas tax havens to skirt U.S. taxes.

The panel subpoenaed internal documents from the companies and interviewed Microsoft and HP officials to compile its report, which uses the companies as case studies.

"The tax practices and gimmicks range from egregious to dubious validity," Democratic Senator Carl Levin, chairman of the panel, said at a news conference.

Officials at HP and Microsoft strongly denied any wrongdoing and noted that tax officials had not objected to the structures.

Levin has been investigating offshore tax evasion for years and often issues reports calling attention to the issue.

Senator Tom Coburn, the top Republican on the panel, signed onto the new report, but he blamed Congress.

"Tax avoidance is not illegal. Congress has created this situation," Coburn said, criticizing the complex tax code and the 35 percent corporate tax rate, among of the world's highest, though few companies pay the statutory rate.

The subcommittee said that from 2009 to 2011, Microsoft shifted $21 billion offshore, almost half its U.S. retail sales revenue, saving up to $4.5 billion in taxes on goods sold in the United States.

This was accomplished, the panel report said, by aggressive transfer pricing, where companies put values on intra-company movement of assets. Corporate units are supposed to use a fair market price to value such transfers, but critics say they are manipulated to minimize tax.



  1. Apple paid 9.8% of it's income, less than even Rmoney. Less than I did because I'm Schedule C and pay over 15%. But I'm a moocher according to him now, doesn't it.