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We Need to Start Holding Tax-Dodging Banksters Accountable

By       Message Thom Hartmann     Permalink
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Reprinted from Smirking Chimp

From Tax Havens Cheat US Taxpayers
Tax Havens Cheat US Taxpayers
(image by citizens4taxjustice)

Tax-dodging big banks and giant corporations are finally being held accountable...except for here in the United States.

Yesterday, UK Chancellor George Osborne announced a new crackdown in his country on big banks that get massive tax breaks, and on giant corporations that avoid paying their fair share in taxes.

Under Osborne's proposed plan, big banks will pay an extra 4 billion pounds (about $6.27 billion), while giant corporations that avoid taxes by shifting their profits overseas will pay a 25 percent tax.

Speaking about the move, Osborne said that...

"Under the rules we inherited banks can offset all their losses from the financial crisis against tax on profits for years to come. Some banks wouldn't be paying tax for 15 or 20 years. That's totally unacceptable. The banks got public support in the crisis and they should now support the public in the recovery."

He added that...

"Some of the largest companies in the world, including those in the tech sector, use elaborate structures to avoid paying taxes. Today I am introducing a 25% tax on profits generated by multinationals from economic activity here in the UK which they then artificially shift out of the country."

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Giant corporations like Apple and Google have come under fire in both the UK and the US recently for raking in massive profits, while shifting those profits overseas to avoid taxes.

A report by the UK's Bureau of Investigative Journalism found that Apple, Microsoft, Google and Cisco Systems collectively earn interest while avoiding taxes on over $124 billion that's held overseas.

Clearly, the UK government has recognized that corporate tax avoidance by big banks and giant transnational corporations is a major problem, and it's doing something about it.

So, why can't lawmakers right here in the US do the same thing?

According to Demos, over the last decade, corporate tax avoidance has cost the US government over $3.09 trillion.

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That's a staggering amount of money.

So, who are some of the biggest corporate tax avoiders in the US?

Well, first off there's General Electric.

In 2012 alone, General Electric kept $108 billion in offshore tax havens so it could avoid paying taxes on it.

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Thom Hartmann is a Project Censored Award-winning New York Times best-selling author, and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk program on the Air America Radio Network, live noon-3 PM ET. His most recent books are "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight," "Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights," "We The People," "What Would Jefferson Do?," "Screwed: The Undeclared War (more...)

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