Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Are state firms operating in tax havens? - The Connecticut Post Online

read at The Connecticut Post Online
By Rob Varnon

. . . GE flat out disagreed with the report.

"We actively do business in more than 100 countries, a number of which are included in the GAO report," said Peter O'Toole, a GE spokesman. "We have great customers in those countries, and so disagree with what we believe is a misinterpretation of the report conclusion.

"Xerox's Web site listed it as having business operations in 160 countries, from factories to distributorships including many of the places the GAO reported as tax havens.
. . .
The concern for the government is not whether the companies operate businesses, but whether they are crediting income earned in the U.S. to those operations in tax havens, thereby depriving U.S. coffers of tax money connected to those earnings.

There's evidence that some U.S. multinationals are doing that, according to White.

In a separate report published in August 2008, the GAO found "multinationals are in fact shifting income from where they earn it to places with low tax rates." That report was limited to just seeing if it was happening, White said, and not who was doing it.

GE has a quote from a spokesman. We have someone going to our website. Maybe someone should give Rob a call and get in front of this story. Remember, President Obama is putting in place new expectations about transparency and accountability. After years of very hard work, we're mostly on the side of the angels. It would be good to stay there.

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