Time to Make Corporations Pay Taxes They’re Avoiding

Blue-ribbon corporations are deserting our country “to avoid paying taxes but expect to keep receiving the full array of benefits that being American confers, and that everyone else is paying for,” Fortune magazine reports. That’s right, Fortune wrote it; not Pravda.

In a scathing article titled “Positively Un-American” by Allan Sloan and published last July with too little fanfare, Fortune denounces “inversion”—the practice of corporations reincorporating in low tax-rate countries as Ireland (12.5%) to escape paying America’s 35% tax rate.

“Inversion also makes it easier to divert what would normally be U.S. earnings to foreign, lower-tax locales,” Sloan says, adding: “But being legal isn’t the same as being right. If a few companies invert, it’s irritating but no big deal for our society. But mass inversion is a whole other thing, and that’s where we’re heading.”

In a sidebar titled “10 Top American Corporate Tax Avoiders,” Fortune names Carnival of Miami, (Panama and Britain;) XL Group of Stamford, Conn., (Ireland); Eaton of Cleveland, (Ireland); Intersoll Rand of Davidson, N.C., (Bermuda); Perrigo, of Allegan, Mich., (Ireland); Nabors Industries, of Houston, (Bermuda); Garmin of Olathe, Kans., (Switzerland); Invesco of Atlanta, (Bermuda); Allegion, of Carmel, Ind., (Ireland); Actavis of Parsippany, N.J., (Ireland.)

Asked why they incorporated abroad, a number, including Carnival Corp., which operates out of Miami, replied they had never incorporated in the U.S., earning them the dubious distinction of what Sloan calls “never-heres.” By Fortune’s count, some 60 U.S. firms have chosen the never-here or the inversion route “and others are lining up to leave.”

Read more