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Goldman Sachs lowered tax rate from 34% to 1%

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It's good to be the king. Now most people with money in the market have lost badly this year, that much is no surprise. If you take a hit as an investor and sell your now tumbling stocks for a loss Uncle Same will kindly extend a piddly few thousand dollar tax credit to offset your loss, regardless of how steep your loss was. For Lord Paulson's old firm Goldman Sachs? Are you kidding? Not only are they receiving around $10 billion in taxpayer money - while paying out almost the same amount in bonus money - but they've managed to drop their corporate tax rate from 34% down to 1% courtesy of enablers in Congress. (Hey Chuck!)

Democrats appear to be terrified of scaring away business, regardless of the severe problems that we are experiencing because of business interests. As I've said before, we need Wall Street to be successful but enabling them and failing to hold them accountable is not going to help. Looking the other way while firms like Goldman Sachs pushes cash offshore should not be tolerated for US business. For individuals, it's completely illegal and the IRS has been working with Swiss banks recently to identify Americans who are doing this so they can be prosecuted so why allow business to do it? The double standards are especially annoying in this climate. (h/t to Adam G who is as furious about this as I am.)

Goldman Sachs Group Inc., which got $10 billion and debt guarantees from the U.S. government in October, expects to pay $14 million in taxes worldwide for 2008 compared with $6 billion in 2007.

The company’s effective income tax rate dropped to 1 percent from 34.1 percent, New York-based Goldman Sachs said today in a statement. The firm reported a $2.3 billion profit for the year after paying $10.9 billion in employee compensation and benefits.

Goldman Sachs, which today reported its first quarterly loss since going public in 1999, lowered its rate with more tax credits as a percentage of earnings and because of “changes in geographic earnings mix,” the company said.

The rate decline looks “a little extreme,” said Robert Willens, president and chief executive officer of tax and accounting advisory firm Robert Willens LLC.

“I was definitely taken aback,” Willens said. “Clearly they have taken steps to ensure that a lot of their income is earned in lower-tax jurisdictions.”

U.S. Representative Lloyd Doggett, a Texas Democrat who serves on the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, said steps by Goldman Sachs and other banks shifting income to countries with lower taxes is cause for concern.

“This problem is larger than Goldman Sachs,” Doggett said. “With the right hand out begging for bailout money, the left is hiding it offshore.”
Call Chuck Schumer's office and if he's not in the middle of another Wall Street whip round, maybe he can explain how this is fair for the rest of us.
Washington, D.C. office: 202-224-6542
New York City office: 212-486-4430
Democratic Senatorial Camapaign Committee: 202-224-2447

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