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GAO: bailed out companies heavily use offshore tax havens

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Oh how shocking. The IRS is working with global banks at the moment to clamp down on American *individuals* who do this yet Congress has allowed this to go on for years. Nobody flinched when Halliburton moved their offices overseas and the list of spongers taking federal money yet working offshore is lengthy. Try this as an individual and expect to go to prison but no, not if you are corporate America. Heck, the GOP will even give you their blessings if not a multi-billion dollar no-bid contract.

Especially in this climate, it's time to either make this available to everyone or shut it down for everyone. At a minimum, any company who wants to do business with the US government - and they're all free market phonies and freeloaders so they want do to this - eliminate them from applying for federal business if they're going to avoid paying federal taxes. Do it today. Two weights, two measures.

A majority of America's largest publicly traded companies and the U.S. government's largest federal contractors -- including some receiving millions in federal bailout money -- use multiple subsidiaries in offshore tax havens to conduct business and avoid paying U.S. taxes, a new report finds.

The new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, released today by Sens. Byron L. Dorgan (D-N.D.) and Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.), lists Citigroup and Morgan Stanley as having set up hundreds of tax haven subsidiaries, along with American International Group and Bank of America. Also in the tax-haven list are well-known companies and such federal contractors as American Express, Pepsi and Caterpillar.

GAO, searching publicly available data filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, determined that 83 of the 100 largest publicly traded corporations and 63 of the 100 largest federal contractors maintain subsidiaries in countries generally considered havens for avoiding taxes. Dorgan and Levin said they requested the updated report from one several years ago because they are focused on combating offshore tax abuses, which they estimated cause $100 billion in lost U.S. tax revenue each year.

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