Thursday, February 14, 2013

Silicon Valley firms shelter assets overseas, avoid billions in U.S. taxes

Center for Investigative Reporting
Silicon Valley firms shelter assets overseas, avoid billions in U.S. taxes 

The largest tech companies in the Bay Area have avoided paying federal taxes on more than $225 billion they have accumulated through foreign subsidiaries, documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission show.

By sheltering their assets overseas, Silicon Valley companies such as Apple, Google, eBay and Hewlett-Packard are able to reduce their annual taxes in some cases by billions of dollars, according to a Center for Investigative Reporting and Bay Citizen analysis of the 50 largest firms’ financial statements filed in 2012.

Widespread tax avoidance by some of California’s most prominent companies has contributed to federal revenue shortfalls as President Barack Obama and Congress consider whether to cut government programs. Some lawmakers say the tax code disproportionately favors powerful companies at the expense of other taxpayers.