Fair Tax Mark, a UK-based civic advocacy group, has accused Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Netflix of depriving public coffers of more than $100bn in taxes since 2010 through aggressive tax avoidance schemes. In that "tax dodging" is using illegal means to avoid paying taxes, it's not properly applied to Apple, a company that has long used worldwide law to structure its business in order to pay the least taxes it-legally-can.
One common strategy companies have been said to use is the "Double Irish with a Dutch Sandwich", which is an worldwide tax evasion strategy that involves channeling profits first through an Irish company, then through a Dutch company, and then to another Irish subsidiary headquartered in a location - like Bermuda -with lower or no income taxes. He went on to tell those Senators that if they wanted Apple to behave differently, they should change the law.
Warren, for example, unveiled the Real Corporate Profits Tax, which would apply to companies that report more than $100 million in profits. Over the decades, the gap between Silicon Six and tax provisions that they actually paid totaled $ 100.2 billion, the researchers found. The group has not yet offered evidence that this gap is the product of illegal tax dodging.
The researchers noted that most of the tax shortfall "almost certainly arose outside the United States", with tax charges from countries outside the United States coming to 8.4 percent of the companies' profits overseas. Governments write the tax laws and Amazon is doing the very thing they encourage companies to do - paying all taxes due while also investing many billions in creating jobs and infrastructure.
"The amount of tax paid by these businesses was $ 100 billion less than that reported in their accounts", he said.
On Monday, the non-profit group said it plans to release a report this week titled, "The Silicon Six and their $100 billion global tax gap", which shows that the six tech companies have underpaid their tax obligations from 2010 through 2018 based on statutory tax rates.
In a ranking of the six, Fair Tax Mark credited Amazon as having the poorest tax conduct, reporting the company has paid just $3.4 billion in income taxes since 2010.
Expect this report to garner headlines, as the subject of multinational taxes is a hot-button issue, especially as "election year" kicks into gear. "Coupled with low margins, this investment will naturally result in a lower cash tax rate". Ultimately these are decisions for governments and we support the OECD process which is looking at new worldwide tax rules for the digital economy.
A spokesperson for Google told FOX Business the report's "interpretation" of how it pays taxes "ignores the reality of today's complicated global tax system, and distorts the facts documented in our regulatory filings". That tax would be levied in addition to other taxes owed under the current tax structure.
Netflix ranked fourth in the list handing over 15.8 percent of its profit while Apple ranked fifth with a tax rate of 17.1 percent.
Microsoft paid the highest tax rate of 16.8 percent with a spokesperson telling CNBC: "Microsoft is fully compliant with all local laws and regulations in every country in which we operate".